Jonas Engel-Isaksson is a swedish DJ that will be playing at Gaukurinn tonight, Friday 31st of August, as a part of the Bears on Ice Festival that is happening in Reykjavík this weekend. DJ-ing is not the only reason Jonas is attending the Festival though, yesterday he got married to his boyfriend Ben Engel at the old harbour in Reykjavík, because that is what you do when you are attending Bears on Ice – obviously!
I meet Jonas at a down town café on Thursday morning, two hours before he is getting married and start with telling him that this is the first time I´ve ever interviewed someone on his wedding day. He laughs and points out that it is a first time experience for him too. But why did he and Ben choose Iceland and the Bears on Ice Festival to get married, did they meet in Iceland?
“We met in Stockholm, actually, at their Bear-thing,” Jonas explains. “And then I went here because Ben loves Iceland and has been here many times and was attending the Bears on Ice Festival here last year. So you could say that the Festival was where we started dating, basically, and Iceland was where we spent our first days together as a couple so it was an obvious choice to use the occasion this year to get married. It’s also a good story to tell to other people that you got married in Iceland, it’s not something that many people would do”
Jonas lives in Sweden and Ben lives in Canada so Iceland was kind of a middleground for them to meet, but in the future they plan to live together in Sweden. But what are their plans for the wedding day?
“We’ll get married at the old harbour and then we will take the cruiser and go on a trip with our wedding planner, Pink Iceland, and take even more pictures of Iceland. It is so beautiful.”
Neither Jonas´nor Ben´s families could attend the ceremony so they are planning on having two different wedding receptions, one in each of their home countries, later this year. But Jonas tells my that their Icelandic wedding party will be attending the Bears on Ice party on Thursday night. They are absolutely in love with the Festival and Jonas says it is very different from the one held in Stockholm.
“In Stockholm it was just a one day party but here it’s actually the whole package. We are going to the Golden Circle tomorrow and on Saturday we’re going to the Blue Lagoon and then there is brunch on Sunday. So there is a lot going on apart from all the parties.”
Friday night (tonight) Jonas will be DJ-ing at one of the parties of the Festival, the Top-Off party at Gaukurinn that starts at 10 pm. He has made quite a name for himself in Sweden as the DJ First Gift and even has his own label. But what will he be playing tonight?
“I usually play a bit of everything,” he says. “But tonight it will mostly be house-electronic and a bit of 80´s music. There will be two DJs, me and DJ Elevator Moods from Iceland. He starts at ten o’clock and plays til twelve and then I start and play til three o’clock in the morning, or even longer. That’s gonna be great fun. There is a lot of foreign people attending the Festival and it’s popular with Icelanders as well, so I assume the place will be packed.”
Obviously Iceland and the Bears on Ice Festival holds a special place in Jonas’ heart and he says that he and his husband will probably attend the festival every year in the future to celebrate their wedding anniversary.
“Attending the festival has been a very good experience for us and it’s a lot of fun, a lot of party. We both love Iceland, it’s so beautiful and the people are so accepting. And after this year I really hope that we can come here every year from now on to celebrate and remember this special day in our life.”
Having said that Jonas checks his watch and realises that he is getting married in an hour and a half so he has to run. “Congratulations,” I yell at his back as he leaves, but he does not hear his mind full of the day ahead. After all it is one of the most important days in his life, and then we are not talking about his DJ-ing gig Friday night (tonight).