Reykjavík Pride Week is set to kick off at 12 noon today when the Pride management team, along with Reykjavík Mayor Dagur B. Eggertsson, will paint the first rainbow stripe on Skólavörðustígur in the heart of downtown Reykjavík.

Following that, along the stretch from streets Bergstaðastræti to Laugavegur/Bankastræti, visitors and passersby, under the guidance of Reykjavík city employees, will cover Skólavörðustígur street in painted rainbow colours. 

Reykjavík Pride has been an annual fixture on the capital’s calendar since 1999, growing in scope and ambition from year to year. 2018’s festivities will take place on Aug. 7-12, comprising over 30 events of various kinds.

Among them are a concert showcasing some of Iceland’s enormously talented queer female musicians; workshops on a variety of topics ranging from the state of masculinity today to finding your freedom through dance; a drag event hosted by famous drag queen Detox; an activity-filled family rainbow festival in Klambratún park; concerts, dances and film screenings; a queer pub crawl; and the kinky carnival, a burlesque celebration of sexuality and erotica.

“We’re very proud of the kinky carnival,” says Karen Ósk Magnúsdóttir, Secretary of the Pride Management Team. “Queer sexuality hasn’t really been a part of the cultural conversation and it’s often been a focal point of the prejudice directed towards us. So this year we’re going to go all the way and throw a carnival where erotica, education and celebration reign supreme.”

The full programme for the festival can be found here.

“Pride Week will reach its pinnacle on Saturday, Aug. 11 with the Pride parade, which will culminate in an outdoor concert,” said the management team in a statement. “This year’s parade will proceed from the Harpa concert hall at Sæbraut to the Hljómskálagarður park, site of this year’s party.”

In recent years 70,000-100,000 guests have participated in Pride Week and the Pride parade and, not least due to a positive weather forecast, organizers are expecting a great turnout this year,” the statement concludes.