More than 150 foreign guests are expected to show up for the annual men only festival Bears on Ice, which will be held in Reykjavík 1.-4. September. Full Event Passes for the festival are already sold out.
“We are delighted by this great response to our festival,“ says Frosti Jónsson, the organizer of Bears on Ice. „It surpasses our wildest hopes.“ Those who want to attend but have not got a pass yet need not despair though, there are still party passes available plus tickets to individual events.
This is the 12th time the festival will be held and it has been growing in popularity every year. Last year 150 foreign guests attended and that number is likely to go up this year. Frosti is very happy about that, who would not be, but he wants to stress that there is still room for everyone who wants to come to the events.
“There is unlimited number of Simple Pass available which includes entrance to Thursday‘s, Friday‘s and Saturday‘s parties. And for those who just want to join the Friday or the Saturday party, they will be able to purchase tickets at the door.“
Asked how it all started Frosti says that he wanted to create something special for gays visiting Iceland. “It all started back in 2005,“ he says. “Then I got an email from two guys in London who wanted to visit Iceland to have a good party and asked me if I could organize that. I really liked the idea and we created an event that lasted for three days and was a huge success that we wanted to repeat. And that‘s how the Bears weekend in Reykjavík became an annual event.“
“We are delighted by this great response to our festival. It surpasses our wildest hopes.“
Bears on Ice is a not-for-profit event, organized by volunteers to spice up the local gay scene and introduce gay-friendly Iceland to our guests. With no budget for promotion the event has grown year by year by word of mouth and good reputation. Frosti still organizes the event but now with the help of a group of friends. It’s one of Iceland’s top 3 biggest gay events and in recent years Iceland’s only men only events.
BEARS ON ICE 2016 kicks off Thursday September 1st with a Welcome party in Gamla Bíó, which is formerly the home of the Icelandic Opera. Then there are parties every night and Frosti is delighted to announce that DJ COLIN GAFF will be returning to Iceland to perform along with Prosumer & DJ Dramatik at the parties. The full program can be studied on the website bearsonice.org where you can also buy party passes.
Frosti stresses that it is open to everyone and a unique chance to meet like-minded people. “ Bears on Ice is a friendly social event where you get you meet and mingle with like-minded guys and make friends from all over the world. It‘s not just a party, even though we certainly like to party and dance like there is no tomorrow. I urge everyone who wants to have a good time with us to show up and experience the atmosphere for himself.“
The Icelandic Bears group is not big according to Frosti, maybe 15-20 people, but they are active and this Saturday, the 16th of July there will be a Picnic in the Laugardalur Park under the heading Bears in the Wood. “It‘s nothing big,“ Frosti says. “We are just going to meet and mingle and have a good time. Everyone is of course welcome to join us, it‘s always interesting to meet new people and maybe make new friends.“
Main photo/Joshia Shibano: Frosti himself will be one of many DJ’s performing at the festival this year.