During Gay Pride 2009, Dikke Maatjes en Netherbears organized Amsterdam’s first ever Bear Pride. Unfortunately, that was the first and only edition so far. Five years after this first Bear Pride, the founder and organizer of the Amsterdam Fetish Pride Michael Roks took the initiative to found and organize next year an Amsterdam Bear Pride from March 20-24.
People are working hard to get Amsterdam back on the gay map, and the cooperation is starting to pay off. It can only succeed if all businesses concerned work together and do not put their “own gain” first. Of course, it is an important aspect, but once the gay scene becomes more popular, the rest will follow. It is not always easy to get all the wood behind one arrow, but Roks does not give up easily. He wants to be the team leader and, with all parties involved, can look back on a successful Amsterdam Fetish Pride.
The Amsterdam Bear Pride can hitch a ride on the success of Fetish Pride, but will have to become a tremendous success on its own. Amsterdam Bear Pride has started to draw international attention, but the organization will never forget that, in the first place, the event is organized for the public and not out of business interests. A commercial approach is fine, but it should not take over.
Meanwhile, a number of activities have already been planned. The organizers want the parties take place in the city center for its atmosphere, and not organize a large party on the outskirts of town. It is important to all clubs, bars, restaurants and shops to stay “inside” the city center.
That is why they thought of organizing a combined Furball & Bear Necessity Party, but also a Mister Bear Contest, a Canal Bear Cruise, Bear Bowling, UnderBear, and After and XXXL Lust parties. There is even a special Bear Burger on the menu. But this is only a small selection of the full program.
The Amsterdam Bear Pride will turn into an event in which not only parties and food are at center stage, but where sociability is key. The bears are synonymous with a large, cosy family that welcomes a little heftiness... Interested? Keep your eyes peeled for more information, follow the developments on the Facebook page Amsterdambearpride or go to www.amsterdambearpride.com or of course at gayamsterdam.com.