Rainbow Reykjavík, Iceland’s Winter Pride, begins this Thursday, February the 9th. Organizers say that a record number of participants will be attending.
“This is an exceptional chance for foreign guests to enjoy Icelandic nature and experience the local LGBT+ scene, with queer entertainment of the highest caliber,” says Birna Hrönn Björnsdóttir, co-founder and owner of travel agency and events company Pink Iceland, when asked about the upcoming four-day international LGBT+ festival the company has organized this week.
Rainbow Reykjavík is now being held the sixth year in a row and guests can choose between two programs. The official one that takes place during the festival, from February 9th-12th, where they get a chance to experience Iceland’s must see attractions, such as the Reykjanes peninsula, the Golden Circle, the Blue Lagoon and take part in a northern lights hunt.
The other program is an extended program that includes events both before and after the festival, where the guests get to see more of Iceland with visits for example to Snæfellsnes peninsula and the west and the south coast. Single events or trips can also be purchased.
“I’m excited. Very excited. Pink Iceland is a company that usually caters to smaller groups so this is a thrilling time for us.”
One of the festival’s highlights is The Pink Masquerade Party, a ball taking place at the old national theater Iðnó on Saturday, February the 11th, with entertainers Páll Óskar, Sísí Ey, Drag-Súgur and Jonathan Duffy performing. Birna says that never before have so many people been expected to attend. “All in all around 50 people will be taking part in the festival, most of which come from Europe and the US and never before have so many been going to The Pink Masquerade Party.”
This year there will be a twist to the party. “Pink Iceland is organizing a weeding between two gentlemen and the wedding guests will be attending the party, as well as the festival. So The Pink Masquerade Party is in fact a part of a wedding reception, which means it will be the biggest wedding party that we’ve put together,” Birna says with a smile.
Even though the party can be considered the climax of Rainbow Reykjavík, she believes that the festival has another high point that is much bigger. “For us, the organizers, the high point is to get to hear and see first hand how our guests experience the festival and the country and culture, that we are so proud of. But it’s also when we get to witness them making friends. So many people have made friends at Rainbow Reykjavík throughout the years and some have even gone on to travel the world together.”
Birna is also proud of fact that the festival is one of the biggest queer events in Iceland. “We love that Rainbow Reykjavík has sanctified itself as Iceland’s so-called Winter Pride. And that people who’ve been to similar festivals all over the world praise it for being well organised. It is true that the
“The Pink Masquerade Party is in fact a part of a wedding reception, which means it will be the biggest wedding party that we’ve put together.”
ground work takes a long time. There are a lot of little details that need to be taken care of and we at Pink Iceland have really prepared well for this year, with our main guide Guðni taking care of our guests.”
And now the festival is only in a couple of days. How do you feel about that?
“I’m excited. Very excited. Pink Iceland is a company that usually caters to smaller groups so this is a thrilling time for us. There’s so much action going on,” Birna says and laughs.
Note: A pre-sale party for the Pink Masquerade Party will be held at Pink Iceland’s office at Hverfisgata 39, on Thursday, February 9th, between 5 and 9 pm. There tickets can be purchased on pre-sale prices and masks bought for the party. On Thursday night Rainbow Reykjavík’s Welcome Party will be held at bar Kiki, with a happy hour the entire night.