Iceland locks a gorge – because of Justin Bieber

Iceland locks a gorge - because of Justin Bieber

In 2015 Justin Bieber chose a spectacular gorge in southern Iceland as the backdrop for a video. Since then, fans of the pop singer in mass to the canyon. Now the environmental authority pulled the ripcord.

Justin Bieber, 25, Canadian pop singer and international teenage favorite, would never have dreamed that the gorge of Fjaðrárgljúfur in the south of Iceland would be overrun by tourists and now temporarily closed. In 2015, Bieber shot the video for his song “I’ll Show You” in the nearly two-kilometer-long, sometimes up to 100-meter-deep canyon, which has received over 440 million views on YouTube to date.

You can see untouched, spectacular rock and grass landscapes, through which the pop star is strolling. In one scene, he even swims in the icy waters of the Fjaðrá River.

Thousands of Bieber fans have since visited the gorge, according to the British newspaper “The Telegraph” in 2017, about 150,000 visitors were counted, last year there were already 282,000. Before publication of the music video, the canyon was largely unknown and counted only a few visitors.

The onslaught was not good for the vegetation in the reserve – it was trampled literally flat. Originally, the Fjaðrárgljúfur gorge was to be closed for only two weeks for the plants to recover.

However, as the thaw began to set in, the trails became increasingly muddy and impassable, leaving visitors with increasingly sheltered areas beyond the marked trails. In order to protect the fragile ecosystem from further damage, Iceland’s Environment Agency now imposed a block until early June 2019.