There’s a new place in town for queer men to party. FAB Party at Ægisgarður is a “men only party” for gay, bi and trans men on May 27.
The party is the latest effort to create men only queer spaces in Reykjavík. Last December, a similar men only party was hosted at Ægisgarður by Páll Óskar. Frosti Jónsson is organizing the party. He’s had his fair share of experience at the helm of queer events, organizing Bears on Ice since 2005. Now he’s trying to forge new queer spaces in Iceland.
“It’s just the simple idea of adding some diversity to the local gay scene and throw a men only party, where men who like men can enjoy themselves and party a little bit. The idea is quite simple. The number of venues are quite limited, and apart from the Bears on Ice event … there are no men only events. There is a demand for more variety and men only events,” says Frosti, when asked about the idea behind this party.
Why is adding that kind of diversity important for you?
“It’s not only important for me. I think it’s important to create a space for gay, bi and trans men to socialize with other gay, bi and trans men. Where they share their own space and they don’t have to worry about the outside world for a night.”
Don’t you think it’s perhaps a bit ironic to be trying to add some diversity by hosting a “men only” party?
“No… When I talk about diversity, it’s diversity in terms of events in the local gay scene, and diversity in terms of venues and places for gay people or LGBT people. There is one club that labels itself as “queer,” but it’s very mixed and it’s not necessarily the space we’re seeking. We have to share spaces with all sorts of people 365 days a year, so why can’t we create our own space for ourselves?”
Were you also involved in the party hosted in December?
“Slightly. There’s a group of people who were involved, and as the first party in December got such a good response we wanted to do it again. But we’ve been involved in running all sorts of events, and I personally run Bears on Ice, which is a men only event, and I’ve done that for 12 years. And we’re just trying to come up with something that is done on our terms and just have fun! It shouldn’t be taken too seriously.”
“We’ll be flirting with 80’s and 90’s music with some contemporary touch. If that sort of tells you anything. There will be two DJs … There will be some special offers at the bar. Then we will have a secret guest performing…”
What will be the difference between this party and the December party, or Bears on Ice, for example?
“This will be quite different from Bears on Ice, because that is a four-day event. But this will be quite similar in some ways to the December party. We’re focusing on an event where we’re serving not necessarily the same music that’s been played at the regular clubs, and the bottom line is basically just to create social space to help men mingle with other men. ”
What can people expect from the party?
“We’ll be flirting with 80s and 90s music with some contemporary touch. If that sort of tells you anything. There will be two DJs, so that will be DJ Dramatik and DJ Bistro Boy. There will be some special offers at the bar. Then we will have a secret guest performing… And obviously we will not be revealing that.”
Any hints about the secret performer? What they’ll be bringing to the party?
“This party is not necessarily about someone performing or performances. We’re more into just creating this social space where there is good music, where you have the opportunity to dance if you
want to, but also where you have the opportunity to mingle and socialize. That’s the whole idea. So this is not a show or anything like this, we want to just create a nice party for the night, and it’s up to you what you want to do.”
Does that mean no hints?
“He will sing!”
Why hasn’t there been more formal events for events for gay, bi and trans men in Iceland before?
“I think there are many reasons. One reason is there is very limited supply of places. There’s just one gay club, and obviously it’s hard to please a diverse crowd. And the local gay scene has always been event-driven. There’s been more focus on just coming up with events, with a different focus on different groups within the LGBT umbrella. So that’s why we have Bears on Ice, which is one thing, we have Rainbow Reykajvík, which is another thing, obviously Reykjavík Pride, which is the largest
“We’re more into just creating this social space where there is good music, where you have the opportunity to dance if you want to, but also where you have the opportunity to mingle and socialize. That’s the whole idea.”
LGBT event. And then there are a bunch of small events. And there are actually many small events happening on a regular basis, like monthly drag events. So there are bits and pieces and I think we’re just tailoring to a different crowd. I’m not sure if, given the small LGBT scene in Iceland, it might be a bit hard to run many local venues.”
The queer history in Iceland is still relatively young… Do you feel like you’re part of building a sort of queer history?
“No. It just depends on what you means with queer history, and which perspective. If the perspective is from a political point of view, then I’m not sure I see myself as playing a role in that sense. But obviously everything that’s being done, cultural-wise and politically-wise is part of the queer history. We don’t take ourselves too seriously… Throwing a party is just throwing a party. And I think that’s an as important part of the culture as anything else. It’s for others to judge what your contribution is in the end. I’m personally not on a queer history mission.”
Is this the start of more regular events like this?
“If there’s demand, then yes we’ll probably do it on a more regular basis! Sure. If people want to show up, then that will be the reason to continue doing it.”
FAB Party will take place at Ægisgarður on May 27 from 22 pm. Admission is 2,000 ISK in advance or 2,900 ISK at the door.
Main photo, from the left: Gógó Starr, Starina, host Páll Óskar and Gloria Hole.
Photos: Páll Guðjónsson