From August 8th-17th, Reykjavík is hosting its biggest Pride festival yet featuring concerts, parades, educational events and more! For 10 days, Iceland will celebrate its commitment to equality and continued achievements in combating adversity.
An Important Year for Reykjavík Pride
This year marks 20 years since the start of Reykjavík Pride and 50 years since the Stonewall riots – making 2019 particularly meaningful for Iceland’s queer community. This year, the event kicks off on August 8th with a variety of fun and informative events that culminate in the Pride Parade and outdoor festival on August 17th. Gunnlaugur Bragi Björnsson, the President of Reykjavík Pride, notes, “on this occasion, we’re extending the Pride celebrations. The aim is, as before, to appreciate successes achieved while improving the visibility of queer people and continuing the struggle, since many victories are still not won.”
Program of Events
The celebration will be jam-packed with exciting events for the whole family. On August 8th, the Let’s Paint a Rainbow event will kick off the festivities, where volunteers are invited to “dress up” a location in downtown Reykjavík with a large rainbow. Other notable events from the week include a presentation on The Stonewall Riots, held in the National Museum of Iceland, The Icelandic Royal Drag Competition, a Queer Stand-up comedy night, and an educational event focused on the mental health of young LGBTQ+ people. Events are continuously being added to the program, so don’t forget to keep an eye on the schedule!
Reykjavík Pride’s History
In 1999, the first “Queer Weekend in Reykjavík” was hosted by Samtökin ’78 in commemoration of the Christopher Street Uprising. The next year, the first Pride Parade was organized with twelve thousand attendees. One of the founders of Reykjavík Pride, Heimir Már Pétursson said after the event, “We got twelve thousand people. Not to fight us. Not to make fun of us. Not to belittle us, but to walk with us. That’s when I knew that we’d succeeded at this and tears ran down my face.” Since then, the annual event has continued to grow, and is now not only one of Iceland’s most-attended festivals, but also the most-attended Pride event in the world, relative to population size!
Which of the events are you most looking forward to? Let us know how you’re celebrating Pride in the comments or on Twitter!