‘The queerest party of the season’

Get yours masks ready, because the the annual Pink Masquerade Ball is just around the corner.

The party is part of the program for Rainbow Reykjavik, the winter pride festival organized by LGBT travel company Pink Iceland, and will take place at Iðnó Theatre on February 10.

Pink Iceland co-owner Hannes Sasi Pálsson is looking forward to the party.

With an estimated 350 to 450 guests expected at this year’s party, the Pink Masquerade Ball is the cornerstone event of the festival. Pink Iceland co-owner Hannes Sasi Pálsson told GayIceland about what makes the night so special.
“When we first started Rainbow Reykjavik we really wanted to include a big party, but since there is usually just one queer bar in Reykjavik at a time we felt like we needed to offer one night outside of it. From the first party we just knew we were on to something — the local community loved it and we decided to keep throwing these parties at least once a year for as long as people keep showing up. One thing that maybe makes it extra special is that it’s not for profit, which means we can spend more on sound, lighting and confetti — all the fun things. As a rule, either the headlining artist or a local LGBTQI+ community gets the proceeds, if there are any!”

“… it will of course include a lot of queens! Drag-Súgur will perform, and our beloved radio star Siggi Gunnars will DJ and make sure that we dance until morning.”

What can people look forward to at this year’s Masquerade Ball?
“The most special thing about the Masquerade Ball this year, like every year, is the coming together of an amazing queer community that doesn’t get a lot of opportunities to assemble in the kinds of numbers we hope for. For some it’s like family reunion, for others it might be like an introduction to a vibrant and diverse group of people they’ve recently realized they belong to! On a personal note, we always especially look forward to the outfits as some people top themselves every year.”

Can you tell us anything about who will be performing this year?
“As the queerest party of the season, it will of course include a lot of queens! Drag-Súgur will perform, and our beloved radio star Siggi Gunnars will DJ and make sure that we dance until morning. As well, the fierce Jómbi will host and will pick the top three outfits of the night, who will receive generous prizes. We’ll offer a makeup station where guest can get a glittery makeover — so even if you don’t have time to show up in full drag, you can get still be absolutely fabulous,” he says and adds that Pink Iceland will also set up a photo booth where you can take ‘selfies’ as you wish.

The stars of Drag-Súgu have graced the stage at the ball last years, here is Gogo Starr!

“Finally, the Ice-tralian comedian Jono Duffy will present a ‘walk’ which we encourage guests to take part in. You can walk the floor and be judged on criteria such as the ‘realness’ of your drag, the fabulousness of your mask or the gorgeousness of your outfit and of course your dancing ability, vogue-ing in particular.”

What have the highlights been from past years’ Masquerade Balls?
“The highlights are overall the joy and beauty of these parties. There is simply something magical about being in a room full of wonderful people who are there to have fun, be their fabulous selves and celebrate life like there is no tomorrow. Throughout the years we’ve also had surprise performers who contact us with short notice or even just show up and want to take part in the bliss.”

Tell me about some of the masks people have worn in past years… How creative do people get ?
“Photos are worth a thousand words . . .”

Other photos from past balls can be viewed here, here and here.

How can people attend the Ball?
“You can get your ticket on the Reykjavík Rainbow website and get the presale rate and members of Samtökin ‘78 (The National Queer Organization), Q (Organisation of Queer Students) and Trans-Iceland get a special discount. We encourage guests to get their ticket ahead of time as the venue accommodates a limited number of guests. Furthermore we’ll host a small welcome reception at the Pink Iceland office on Hverfisgata 39 on Thursday February 8th from 5 to 7pm and we’ll have tickets for sale there.”

The Pink Masquerade Ball is just one of a number of events that are part of the Rainbow Reykjavik program. The winter pride festival runs from February 8-11 and a full schedule of events can be found at www.rainbowreykjavik.is.

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