Rainbow Reykjavik is the queer weekender you need to know about

"What better way to meet other queer women than enjoying a drink and bathing in hot geothermal pools under the northern lights..?"




As news of the March 2019 Winter Pride Festival Rainbow Reykjavik hits DIVA HQ, we decided to catch up with organisers Birna Hrönn Björnsdóttir and Eva María Þórarinsdóttir Lange to find out what the next queer Icelandic weekender has in store.


Fancy it? ✨



DIVA: When was the first Rainbow Reykjavik festival and how did you come up with the idea?

BIRNA & EVA: The first Rainbow Reykjavik festival was celebrated in 2012, shortly after Pink Iceland was founded.


At the time, Iceland wasn’t as popular a winter destination as it is today so the festival was partially our way of getting more queer* people to Iceland during a low season in tourism. Also, we love winter in Iceland and felt that we could offer something very different from the sun, six-packs and sand tourism that we see so much of in the industry.



Primarily though, we wanted to create a platform for local and international queer people to meet and what better way than bathing in hot geothermal pools, under northern lights and enjoying a drink or two in great company?!


The main reason all people visit Iceland is our gorgeous nature and we thought that it would be much more loving if you could watch erupting geysir and powerful waterfalls, walk between the tectonic plates and bathe in the Blue Lagoon in the company of your LGBT+ family from all over the world.


What do you hope festival attendees will take away from this year's winter weekender?

Throughout the years we’ve learned that our guests are usually most happy about the human connection they make while enjoying Iceland’s nature and culture. Some of our guests have made lifetime friends after attending the festival.



We also hope that our guests will fall deeply in love with Iceland as we try to introduce them to "essential Iceland" during their short stay. We have proven successful in the previous years as many guests have come back several times to enjoy more of what Iceland has to offer! 


Is there anything specifically aimed at lez/bi women?

Us Icelanders become a little confused when we witness the “segregation” of lez/bi women and gay men as it's simply not something we’ve grown accustomed to here. The Icelandic queer society is and always has been very mixed.


Our population is a tiny 335,000 people so we’ve just always banded together. LGBTQIA+ folks tend to all party together, we often don't have more than one queer bar open at any one time and our national Queer Association is for all who identify themselves as queer – and their allies.



Pink Iceland is owned by us, a lesbian couple, and our GBF (that's gay best friend) Hannes. Together with our amazing team we try to cater to all so everyone should have a sense of belonging when attending Rainbow Reykjavik festival.


What do you think the 2019 highlight might be?

Iceland’s stunning nature, experienced in awesome company is always the highlight for our guests, but every year we try add something new to the programme.



This year we’re super excited to welcome the one and only Detox from RuPaul’s Drag Race who will be hosting the Pink Masquerade Party on 9 March 2019 and then joining us all in the Blue Lagoon!


The Pink Party has become the most glam social event of the season and this years Masquerade Ball edition aims to honor the Ball Culture of the early 80s with guests encouraged to walk and... STRIKE A POSE. Detox will MC the event and choose the winners.


*We use the word queer frequently at Pink Iceland (as we have a great Icelandic word that is very descriptive and inclusive) as we think it’s more inclusive of everyone in the queer alphabet.


To see the full schedule of book for 2019 programme visit the Rainbow Reykjavik festival website – see you there ✨



Only reading DIVA online? You're missing out. For more news, reviews and commentary, check out the latest issue. It's pretty badass, if we do say so ourselves.


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