The Bears are coming! No not polar bears or grizzly bears, but the more cuddlier kind. The annual Bears on Ice festival will run from September 4-7 this week and is set to have the biggest turn out in its ten-year history, with over 150 bears and friends flying to Iceland from all over the world. BEARRACUDA, the largest attended bear dance party in the US, has been added to the men only festival and like before a lot of artists will be performing. Amongst them Icelandic pop figure Berndsen who not only plans to entertain but also feature Bears on Ice in an upcoming music video. We caught up with Berndsen to find out more.

You’ll be performing at Bears on Ice on the evening of September the 6th, how did that come about?

“Originally I wanted to do a music video with the Bears. So I contacted organiser Frosti Jónsson to ask him if I could. He said yes and suggested that I’d do a concert.”

What made you want to include Bears in your video?

“A lot of people think I look like a Bear and I thought it would be good to meet people like me.”

Vow, you could actually fit right in the Bear scene. Which brings us to a question. Are you…”a real Bear”?

Laughing. “No.”

Ok, now that that’s settled, tell us about more about the music video.

“Well it’s for a song called Gimmi, Gimmi  and it’s about a good friend of mine who’s gay. I did it as a tribute to him. I’m very supportive of gay and lesbians. We should all try to be gay for a day.”

And Gimmi, Gimmi  is on your latest album Planet Earth, which came out last December right?

“Yep. We’re just trying to promote it here and in Europe.”

Details please.

This year Bears on Ice will be bigger than ever.

“The concept for the album is science fiction. It’s about Earth and Space and if there is life on other planets. It’s in the 80’s spirit. And while my first album was more like 1985 – which is the year I was born – this is even more back in time. Like 1981. The new material is also more mature. Not sugary pop like on the first album. If you’re interested in getting a copy I suggest you get it on vinyl. All the record stores in Reykjavík have it on sale.”

Any big names linked to the album?

Laughs. “Nope just us.”

And who’s us?

“Me and Hermigervill.”

Hang on, you said that you’ll be promoting the album in Europe…

“Starting with the The Reeperbahn Festival in Germany this September. After that we’ll be touring Europe for three weeks, with FM Belfast.”

What about in Iceland?

“I’ll take part in Iceland Airwaves in November. This gig with the Bears is a special event.”

Main photo: courtesy of Berndsen.

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