“More than a party”

Come out of your caves, Reykjavík Bear is set to warm the grizzly out of you!

There are many festivals Reykjavík is known for. Music lovers can have their fancies tickled with many different options throughout the year including festivals like Secret Solstice and Airwaves. Those who love art and theatre can get knees deep in it each summer with the Reykjavik Fringe Festival and a huge portion of the country turn up every year to celebrate Hinsegin dagar (also known as Reykjavík Pride). A recently new festival is making its mark on the most Northern Capital in the world and it’s hairy, cuddly and ready to party. It’s time to get ready for Reykjavik Bear, set to take to the streets of Iceland in September for the second time.

We sat down with two of the fab bears running the festival; Andres Pelaez and Sigurður Júlíus Guðmundsson to find out what’s going on in the woods with this year’s fest, why they decided to get involved and what exactly defines a Bear

Firstly tell us what exactly is Reykjavik Bear?
“Reykjavik Bear is an annual four-day international GBTIA+ festival that celebrates the Bear community in all its diversity. We invite bears from all over the world as well as other guys who just like bears to come have fun with us experiencing Icelandic nature and partying in downtown Reykjavík. The event consists of three parties, two day-tours to the Golden Circle and to the world famous Blue Lagoon and we wrap it up with a Sunday brunch.”

NOTE: The term BEAR is believed to have originated in San Francisco in the 1980s. Originally it referred to gay men who were typically heavier set and hairier. The term bear originally represented a section of the gay male community who were ruggedly masculine. Since then the community has become arguably more inclusive than its first iterations. So the festival celebrates Bears, but for the uninformed, what exactly is a Bear?

“That question is always getting more and more complicated. Ultimately a bear is a queer guy who basically has a cuddly body. Traditionally a bear is more heavy set and hairy but the bear community has welcomed all sorts of different bodies under the bear umbrella.

Andres and Sigurður Júlíus.

In the end, you could say that being a bear is more of an attitude and a sense of comfort with our bodies and our different masculinities that don’t fit into the mainstream for the most part.

Bears can present in very different ways nowadays. Again, traditionally they have presented as very masculine but that’s not really the norm anymore. The community now tends to embrace the different and reject the masculine ideal and embrace and celebrate diverse bodies. There is room for all of us whose bodies don’t fit into the mainstream and also for all those who do fit there but like the way we look and are.”

How did the festival start?
“We started out in 2019 when we formed the Bears of Iceland organization called Bangsafélagið to serve as a community anchor and host for a new Bear festival based on our predecessor, Bears on Ice.”

NOTE: For those that don’t know Bears On Ice was a similar event that ran annually from 2005 and was recognized as the most Northern bear festival in the world.

“When the guys who held Bears on Ice decided to retire that event, a few of us who had been part of the volunteer group decided to keep it going. So we organized and made a plan to do our first event in 2020. We ultimately had to cancel and luckily we did manage to do an event in 2021 with limited guests and limited opening hours. But we had the best time.”

Where do the Reykjavik Bear participants come from?
“Aside from the locals, we have guests coming from all over the world. Most of our guests come from the US, Canada and Europe. But we also have guests coming from as far as Argentina and Australia.”

What can participants expect at this year’s festival?
“Hopefully a fun friendly event that they will remember for a long time. We have the two tours that are a great way to experience some of the best Iceland has to offer and at the same time get to know each other in a setting outside of the club vibe. Aside from that we also have three parties, each with their own feel. Thursday is our welcome party for the guests to get to know each other. Friday is our Top-off party where we let loose and just enjoy having fun without judgement; then Saturday is our main event where we go all out.

We have fantastic entertainment like Stand-up comic Dan Nava and Burlesque comedians; Dan the Man and Mr. Tombastic, as well as our DJ trio, Kris with a K, DJ Mighty Bear and Dj Rino Sorrentino. And at the end we will say a fond farewell the only way we know how, with a Sunday brunch fit for any bear.”

“I remember the first time I went to a bear event back when I was much more skinny and not really knowing if I fit in, I just knew I liked the big bears.”

Can non-bears attend some of the events?
“Any queer guy can attend the events. Be it cis, trans or genderqueer, big or small, hairy or smooth. We love it when our friends and admirers show up. The more the merrier. We only ask people to remember to leave their body shame at the door. Shame and judgement is not welcome at our events. Just come on over and have a look,” says Andres.

“I remember the first time I went to a bear event back when I was much more skinny and not really knowing if I fit in, I just knew I liked the big bears,” recalls Sigurður. “And the bears were so welcoming and I found a community there that I felt like I belonged. Even though I didn’t fit the mould as it was.”

What makes RVK Bear different from Bear festivals in other countries?
“I think it is the atmosphere we try to create. We do love to party and all that but we want to bring a little bit of our small island vibe to the experience. We love to get to know the guys and see them make new friendships within this little bear bubble of ours. Our slogan is “It’s more than a party” and that’s exactly what we try to do differently,” says Andres.

“Our slogan is “It’s more than a party” and that’s exactly what we try to do differently.”

Does Iceland have a big bear community?
“It’s honestly not that big yet,” they both admit. “We know there are a bunch of bears out there but they don’t know of the community or don’t understand what it is. That is one of those things we are working to improve within the organization.”

How can local bears get involved in the community outside of the festival? Are there other events throughout the year?
“There are plenty of opportunities to get involved. We are building our organization and working towards making our presence more visible in society and making this a more body positive world. And we will also have many more local events now that life is finally back to normal. The best way to get involved is to contact us on socials or our websites, bangsafelagid.is and reykjavikbear.is

Á. Óskarsson
Á. Óskarsson

Á. Óskarsson offers a variety of products and services to sports centers, swimming pools, schools, kindergartens, and the general public. The company specializes in sport-related products, activity-focused games, and a wide range of solutions for sports facilities.

Á. Óskarsson has been involved in numerous big projects related to building sports facilities and has made it their benchmark to offer good quality products and equipment since the company was founded.

See links to social media in the upper left-hand corner


Á. Óskarsson selur fjölbreytt vöruúrval fyrir íþróttahús, sundlaugar, skóla og leikskóla og einnig ýmsar vörur til einkaafnota. Fyrirtækið selur vörur til íþróttaiðkunnar og leikja ásamt því að bjóða upp á ýmsar lausnir fyrir íþróttamannvirki.

Á. Óskarsson hefur komið að fjölda stórra verkefna við byggingu íþróttamannvirkja og hefur frá stofnun kappkostað að bjóða vandaðar og endingargóðar vörur.

Tenglar á samfélagsmiðla eru í efra horninu vinstra megin.



    Blush was founded in 2011 when it started selling high quality sex products. The goal from the beginning was to change the market and take the discussion about sex products to a higher level. Today Blush provides professional services in a pleasant environment that fulfills different needs, both for individuals and couples. Blush respects diversity and wants to set a good example in all of its messaging to target audiences. Sexual health and equality in sex is important and Blush wants to focus on those issues through education and open discussion. Blush works in a socially responsible manner for society, their customers and the environment.

    Check out Blush’s website: https://blush.is/

    Omnom Chocolate
    - award-winning chocolate maker

      Omnom Chocolate is an Icelandic craft chocolate company based in Reykjavík. We produce handcrafted chocolate from organic cacao beans sourced ethically and sustainably. We’ve developed direct relationships to create premium chocolate with fine flavor cacao beans.

      Our creative flavors are carefully crafted by meticulous chocolate makers. The cacao beans are roasted, winnowed, ground, and refined into melty-smooth chocolate.

      Omnom’s process is one of constant exploration, invention, and experimentation. If it doesn’t please us, if something isn’t absolutely delicious, there’s no reason to be doing it. So, we always start with our taste buds and follow our instincts. Our team searches for the finest ingredients in the world and new ways to improve chocolate. This obsession with knowing where our ingredients come from has led us around the corner to dairy farms in the Icelandic countryside and all the way to rainforest cacao farms of Nicaragua.

      In only a few short years, we’ve grown from our 50 sq. m. petrol station space and become an award-winning chocolate maker. Now, with our headquarters in 101 Reykjavík, our chocolate is sent out around Iceland and all over the world.

      At the end of the day, our goal is to make chocolate.




        Nasdaq (Nasdaq: NDAQ) is a global technology company serving the capital markets and other industries. Our diverse offering of data, analytics, software and services enables clients to optimize and execute their business vision with confidence.

        With over 4,300 employees in 39 offices around the world, at Nasdaq we all contribute to the success of the company and its culture, and each one of us has the ability to make a difference. When it comes to our core mission and values, we embrace the role of Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging (DIB) as a fundamental driver of our corporate growth, workplace culture and market development. We strive to create a culture that embraces the power of different perspectives—a culture where people’s unique backgrounds and different experiences helps us fuel innovation and support our clients around the world.

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        Blue Lagoon
        - One of the 25 Wonders of the World

        Named by National Geographic as one of the 25 Wonders of the World, the Blue Lagoon is a shimmering expanse of warmth, relaxation, and rejuvenation. Its unique geothermal seawater
        comes from 2.000 meters within the earth where seawater and freshwater converge in a tectonic realm of porous lava and searing heat. Propelled by extreme pressure, the water ascends to the earth’s surface, emerging enriched with silica, algae, and minerals—the elements that endow Blue Lagoon geothermal seawater with its radiant, healing properties.

        From its humble beginnings in the shadows of a geothermal power plant, Blue Lagoon has evolved into a world of wonder, now encompassing two hotels, three restaurants, three
        geothermal lagoons, a subterranean spa, a renowned line of skin care, a thriving research center, and a wealth of spa and refreshment facilities.

        Achieving harmony with the volcanic landscape, the lagoon and its surrounding architecture embody the unification of the man-made and the natural, and adhere to the highest principles of sustainability.

        The Blue Lagoon. A wonder of the world. A world of wonder.

        - leading financial institution

        Landsbankinn is a leading Icelandic financial institution. It offers a full range of financial services and is the market leader in the Icelandic financial service sector with the largest branch network.

        The present bank was established on 7 October 2008 but the history of its predecessor dates back to 1886. The bank is owned by the National Treasury of Iceland, which holds 98.2% of its share capital, and other shareholders who own 1.8%.

        Landsbankinn’s strategy is to provide comprehensive financial services that meet customer’s needs. It emphasizes providing exemplary service to customers, developing e-banking for their convenience, increasing the efficiency of support functions, modernizing its technology and ensuring effective utilization of its balance sheet.

        The bank’s vision is to be exemplary and its role is to be a trusted financial partner.

        Special emphasis is placed on promoting a performance-oriented culture in the bank. To follow up on the implementation of this strategy, the bank has defined key goals which are measured regularly to determine progress. These goals include, for example, customer satisfaction and loyalty, profitability, cost efficiency and the correlation between risk appetite and employee satisfaction.

        Landsbankinn wishes to lead the development of a sustainable society in Iceland by integrating economic, social and environmental concerns in its operations. The Bank aims to ensure that both its owners and society at large benefit from its activities.

        It intends to achieve this aim by building solid infrastructure and a strong team of 1.100 employees, by listening to its customers and by respecting and encouraging its employees to actively participate in their community. Landsbankinn was a founding member of Festa, a Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility, and is a member of the UN Global Compact.

        Landsbankinn has been a proud sponsor of the Reykjavik Pride since it was first celebrated in Iceland.

        - get inspired

        Dohop allows people to find the cheapest flights available with just one click. Founded in Reykjavik in 2004, it is the only Icelandic company of its kind and quickly became the go-to tool for finding cheap flights among the locals. Dohop finds the best deals among hundreds of different airlines and online travel agencies, to make sure that the user is getting the cheapest price. Dohop also offers hotel and car rental search engines, so users can make all of their travel bookings from a single website.

        Dohop‘s specialty is finding so-called “self-connect” flight options, which can save travelers money by booking a ticket through two or more different airlines. The ability to look for these self-connect option is what sets Dohop apart from its competition, as it can save people hundreds of dollars on certain routes.

        More recently, Dohop has developed a unique product called Dohop Go!, which allows users to check for the cheapest available flights from their home airport. This tool is perfect for those who are looking for travel inspiration but are not willing to overpay for their flight ticket. Dohop Go! is now available in the Dohop Flights App, both for Android and iOS, along with its traditional flight, hotel, and car search engines. “

        VSÓ Ráðgjöf


          VSÓ Ráðgjöf er alhliða ráðgjafar- og verkfræðifyrirtæki sem leggur áherslu á trausta og faglega þjónustu sem tryggir viðskiptavinum hagkvæmustu lausnir hverju sinni, skilar raunverulegum árangri og stuðlar að samkeppnisforskoti.  Á skrifstofum VSÓ í Reykjavík og í Noregi starfar yfir 80 manna samhentur hópur verkfræðinga og annarra tæknimenntaðra starfsmanna.

          - for all your Apple needs

          From starting out as a proper startup with only a good idea and the need to change things, to becoming an established company with 6 employees. Starting from scratch and expanding organically has allowed us to love our expansion and take our customers on the ride with us.

          Macland is located at Laugavegur 23 (101, Downtown Reykjavik)
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          Ísey skyr
          - once tasted never forgotten

          Our Story
          Once upon a time, 1,100 years ago in fact, Nordic settlers began arriving in Iceland. They brought with them the skills and knowledge for producing skyr. As time passed, the know-how and recipe for this nutritious food slowly faded out elsewhere in the Nordic region. Luckily, the Icelandic skyr-making tradition continued.

          For centuries, Icelandic skyr formed a cornerstone of the national diet, helping to keep people strong in living conditions that were often harsh. On family farms countrywide, it was the women who nurtured this dairy and passing on both the recipe and the original Icelandic skyr cultures from mother to daughter.

          Ísey skyr builds on this remarkable legacy. It was some of those very same women, the recipients of their mothers’ expertise, who, around 90 years ago, taught Icelandic dairy scientists the art of skyr-making. The production process is more high-tech these days, and the quality standards more rigorous. However, the basic recipe and the use of original cultures to ferment the skimmed milk remain the same. Protein rich, fat-free, creamy and delicious – Ísey skyr is as relevant to consumers now as it was all those centuries ago.
          This is our secret and you are in on it

          You can read more about Ísey skyr on our website.

          Contact Us

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