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Amsterdam Bear Weekend coming up

by Norbert Splint in Events & Agenda , 14 February 2018

Dit artikel is ook in het Nederlands beschikbaar

This year, the Amsterdam Bear Weekend will take place from the first to the fifth of March. It promises to be a festive, but above all fun event at which everyone is welcome.

Only the sauna remains men only. This small reservation is made by Furball organizer Bram Sniekers, his Bear-Necessity colleague Sjag Kozak, and the owner of Club Church, Richard Keldoulis. These gentlemen form the organizing committee of the Amsterdam Bear Weekend, which in 2018 will be held for the second time. “Credits should go to Michael Roks of The Eagle,” the organizers note. “However, two years ago we took over the organization of the Bear Weekend. The name also changed from Amsterdam Bear Pride to Amsterdam Bear Weekend (ABW).”

Bram tells that the Dutch Bear Community is rather invisible compared to those in other countries. “The scenes in London, Cologne and Madrid play a much more important role in gay life there. Those cities have a longer tradition when it comes to the bear scene: think of the huge Bear Pride in Cologne. In the centre of Madrid, for instance, there is a bear bar on every corner of the street. So, if something like that works abroad, why should it not work in the Netherlands?”

Richard: “We have deliberately chosen not to organize the Amsterdam Bear Weekend during the Amsterdam Pride: it will get snowed under.”

To Each His Own

Nightlife changes, and in the Reguliersdwarsstraat a few brave gay cafés stand tall against advancing mainstream bars and restaurants.

At the same time, the party scene is flourishing - From Bear-Necessity and Furball to Damage, Milkshake and De School: there is plenty to do. During the weekends of Rapido and Fun House, the AirBnB servers were down. Richard: “That’s great, isn’t it? To each his own. Some date on their smart phone, and others go to the Amsterdam Bear Weekend. Or both!”

Sjag: “The highlight is the election of Mister Bear Netherlands 2018 from 19:30 onwards on Saturday night. At 22:00 this contest is followed by the BearBall. Furball and Bear-Necessity are joining forces for this party in the conveniently located club Panama. Another highlight is the screening of the film ‘Bear City 3,’ a romantic comedy about the bear scene in the USA, on Friday night, 19:30 at Pathé de Munt. We also organize a boat trip, an GLBT tour starting at the Homomonument, walking to iconic gay landmarks, and much more. So it’s not just bars, bars, bars!”

But while we are on the subject: a great find of the organization is their choice for The Web as ABW café. Richard: “Think of it as a kind of general meeting place where everyone can meet without any obligations. Conveniently, the tram stops almost in front of it.”

For and By the Community

Bram: “Do not think that we as party organizers will be having our own party for the weekend. It truly will be an event for and by the bear community. I can look forward to next year already. Everyone with a more or less appropriate event can join or approach our team, and indeed have done so in the past. Just join the ride. It will create a synergy that is good for all aspects of the event. We introduced a photographer to restaurant Getto, and she now has the time and space to exhibit during the Amsterdam Bear Weekend. A female photographer? Yes, why not? Everyone is welcome, with the exception of Bear Night at sauna NZ. That remains men only.”

 Amsterdam Bear Weekend
March 1-5, 2018. See also




In our youngest issue, Gay News 344, April/ May/ June/ July 2020



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