The annual Reykjavík Bear Festival, hosted in association with the National Queer Organisation, has sold out, doubling last year’s ticket sales. The event promotes diversity and body positivity within the bear community.
Celebrating diversity and promoting body positivity
The annual Reykjavík Bear Festival, organised by the non-profit Bears of Iceland, is set to run from August 31 to September 3, attracting a record number of attendees. Hosted in association with the National Queer Organisation of Iceland (Samtökin ’78), the festival has sold twice as many tickets as last year and has been sold out since June.
Open to all regardless of gender identity, the event aims to celebrate diversity and promote body positivity. “Leave body shaming at the door,” a press release from Bears of Iceland reads. The festival emphasises bear-community values such as empathy, solidarity, and joie de vivre. “Bears usually have one thing in common: they are sweet, cheerful, funny, and kind to their neighbours,” the press release notes.
The four-day festival lineup includes a Blue Lagoon visit, a Golden Circle tour, brunch, and nightly parties. Friday features a top-off event at Gaukurinn in downtown Reykjavík, while Saturday’s main party is set at Sunset Bar in the Reykjavík EDITION hotel. Entertainment includes DJ Mighty Bear’s fusion of queer culture and futuristic sounds; Spain’s DJ Neo Scott; and France’s DJ Joff.
Founded in 2019, Bears of Iceland hosts various events year-round to increase visibility and camaraderie within the bear community.
A bear is a subcultural term used primarily by gay men, referring to a subset of men who embrace and subvert traditional masculinity and defy the stereotypes typically applied to gay men.