The Icelandic Drag competition used to be an annual event, held in the Reykjavík Pride period, but since 2015 it has been in hibernation, due to lack of organizers. This year is going to change that and the competition will be held tonight, August 9, as an official part of Reykjavík Pride.
The organiser and driving force behind the revival of The Icelandic Drag Competition is none other than the reigning drag queen of Iceland, Gógó Starr. GayIceland contacted Gógó and got to know everything there is to know about the competition this year.
Tell us about this years competition, is it in some way different from former competitions?
“This years Dragkeppni Íslands, or the Icleandic Royal Drag Competition, will be bigger and better than ever! Since we’re always building on the foundations laid before us, the only natural way to go is up.
In this competition we want to showcase the many talents found in our fabulous local drag scene by including a “talent portion” where you might see anything from aerial acrobatics to playing the saw. Something new and exciting to add to this spectacle, which I don’t believe has been done before in this competition.
“In this competition we want to showcase the many talents found in our fabulous local drag scene by including a “talent portion” where you might see anything from aerial acrobatics to playing the saw.”
We also have some tricks up our sleaves and grand ideas just waiting to see the light of day. So this competition will be something to remember.”
What qualifications do people have to meet up to be allowed to take part in the competition?
“We have already selected the nine competitors who will compete this year, drag kings and drag queens and some a bit in-between. We do not care what kind of drag you do or how you identify as a performer or a person. But we do need the contestants to have performed somewhere before this competition as the newly crowned king or queen of Iceland should have a couple of performances under their belt.”
Did the contestants have to go through some kind of rehearsal period before they were allowed to participate?
“We had a couple of rehearsals before the competition, for performers to finalize their acts, talent portions and get everything as smooth as possible. If someone was unable to make it to any rehearsal they would have to have been cut from the lineup – such is the nature of showbiz.”
In the past male contestants have competed as drag queens and female contestants as drag kings, will it be the same this year or will people be allowed to compete in whichever category they please?
“This time, all that will be thrown out the window. Drag has evolved so much in only the last few years. Drag is an art form which can be used and enjoyed by anyone, it’s none of my business what is between your legs, so all contestants, drag kings or drag queens, can be of any gender.”
The competition has not been held for some years, why was it decided to revive it this year?
“It just felt right. The drag scene is blooming like never before, Reykjavík Pride is celebrating it’s 20th year anniversary, and people are ready to organize it and make it a reality.”
In the past the drag competition was an unofficial part of Reykjavík Pride, will it be an official part of the festival this year?
“This year the Icelandic Royal Drag Competition is proudly organized and set up in collaboration with Reykjavík Pride. No more unofficial business! We want this competition to be a badge of honor in Pride’s repertoire.”
Georg Merritt used to organize the competition in the past, will he be involved in any way this year?
“Georg organized Dragkeppni Íslands until 2015, he then moved out of the country to pursue his dreams in film-making. Since then it has not been held, due to nobody being ready to take on the organizational responsibility involved until now. Georg is not involved this time around, but we are building upon a legacy that he has left us and we hope to do it justice.”
“Drag is an art form which can be used and enjoyed by anyone, it’s none of my business what is between your legs, so all contestants, drag kings or drag queens, can be of any gender.”
Apart from yourself who are the people behind the competition this year and how do you all connect to the drag scene in Iceland?
“The idea to revive the competition came from the last two crowned drag queens of Iceland; myself and Gloria Hole. We then approached Pride with this, and got one of the Pride committee members to join in: our fellow former queen of Iceland Agatha P. The head organizer is myself, but we’ve built a team to make this as big, bold and beautiful as it can be.”
Has it been decided who the host will be this year?
“As the reigning drag queen of Iceland for the last four years, I feel that it is my responsibility to crown the next generation of drag performers sprouting from the scene we have built. So I, Gógó Starr, will be hosting this year, possibly with some cameos from surprise guests – who knows.”
As said before Dragkeppni Íslands 2019 – The Icelandic Royal Drag Competition will be held in Austurbær tonight, as a part of Reykjavík Pride. Tickets are 3.900 ISK and pre-sale has started on hinsegindagar.is. Go get your tickets now and get there early, because something tells me you won’t want to miss this.