Back for its 14th year, Iceland’s biggest men’s only party is back!
GayIceland caught up with Frosti Jónsson, the founder of Bears on Ice, about this year’s events, which is starting tomorrow and what the bears are up to. Our first question to Frosti was: “What is Bears on Ice” – for those that don’t already know. “Bears on Ice is a men-only social event for bears and their friends run by a group of Reykjavik locals. It’s a not-for-profit event organized by volunteers to spice up the local gay scene and introduce gay-friendly Iceland to guests from all around the world. Since September 2005 we’ve been hosting international DJs and local performers and providing tours around Iceland for the community to enjoy. We also organize smaller social events throughout the year for all to attend.”
“I think it’s important to offer diverse events on any scene there is, make sure we have options and opportunities to meet and mingle, socialize and have fun.”
What’s on this year?
“The full program for Bears on Ice can be found online, but there’s essentially 2 main ways to join: Full Pass: welcome party, t-shirt, Golden Circle tour with 3 course lunch, Friday party, Blue Lagoon including drinks, Saturday party, and Sunday brunch. Party Pass: everything above minus the Golden Circle, Blue Lagoon, and Sunday brunch.”
DJ Ginger Bear will also be joining this year, coming all the way from Vancouver, BC and visiting Iceland for the first time. He’ll be spinning his retro-tech style with a mix of dance, techno, and retro vibes for Bears on Ice’s diverse group of attendees.”
Bears on Ice often has attendees that come back to Iceland year after year. Why do you think that is? What is it about the group or the festival that keeps makes them want to come back?
“We’ve always had returning guests and a few of our guests have become very good friends, says Frosti. “I hope that means we’re doing something right but our mission has always been about the social aspect of this event; welcome everyone, make sure they feel welcomed and get to know us and other guests while here. Icelandic nature plays its part as well and the Golden Circle and Blue lagoon trips always hit the spot and impress.”
What does it mean to you to have an event like this in Iceland?
“I think it’s important to offer diverse events on any scene there is, make sure we have options and opportunities to meet and mingle, socialize and have fun. It’s important on an individual level and it’s important to the community as a whole.”
What feedback/reviews do you hear from your attendees? What do the locals say?
“We’ve had amazing reviews in the past and that has kept us going. The majority of our guests rate the event highly and the event is pretty much run by word of mouth. We’ve hardly ever advertised at all and our guests have been our best supporters and ambassadors. I hope we’ll see the local guys show up for the parties and have fun with our guests from abroad. It’s important to support your community and businesses and showing up is the way to do it!”