This year’s Mardi Gras festival promises a host of events for the bear community and their admirers. See below for our handy guide.
Join thousands of other members of the rainbow community at one of the highlights of Mardi Gras. Cruise the stalls, the bars, and of course the sexy bears.
Cops are tops, so get your photo taken with one of the friendly policemen or grapple a wrestler from the Sydney Silverbacks. Don’t forget to hang out with the Harbour City Bears or buy a raffle ticket from the Bobby Goldsmith Foundation.
When: From 10am, Sunday 18 February
Where: Victoria Park, Newtown
Honey’s pop-up bar for bears and their friends is back for the 40th anniversary of Mardi Gras, bigger than ever. Now on two floors of the Burdekin Hotel, Bear Bar will once again be the focal point of the bear community during the Mardi Gras celebrations.
This year’s entertainment line-up includes a wine tasting event hosted by United Cellars, Bear Skn Underwear’s best bum competition hosted by Felicity Frockaccino, and Trivial Hirsute, a trivia night run by comedian Dean Arcuri. Don’t miss US DJs Corey Craig and Bret Law headlining the Tourist Trap party on March 2.
When: from Friday 23 February to March 3
Where: Bear Bar, Burdekin Hotel, Darlinghurst
Party in your underwear at Sydney mega club Arq on a packed dance floor with bears and cubs from around the world. Spread over two levels, with music from some of the best DJs on the bear scene, expect a hot night under the mirror ball.
When: from 9pm, Wednesday 28 February
Where: Arq Nightclub, Darlinghurst
Wet Furr Pool Party
The Harbour City Bears’ annual pool party attracts hundreds of bears and cubs in togs and boardies. Play with the giant inflatables, splash around, and have fun in the spa. But beware of what lurks beneath the water.
When: from 5pm, Friday 2 March
Where: Cook & Phillip Aquatic Centre
Thick ‘N’ Juicy
Melbourne’s popular party heads to Sydney to celebrate Mardi Gras with a recovery party like no other. Expect great music, GoGo dancers and amazing performances… plus a dark chillout space.
When: From 4pm to midnight, Sunday 4 March
Where: Burdekin Hotel, Darlinghurst
Furry Films at the Mardi Gras Film Festival
This year’s Mardi Gras Film Festival has a number of great movies that will appeal to Bears. Our top three flicks are the NZ movie 100 Men, the erotic tale Al Berto, and The Cake Maker, set in Berlin.
Run by Queer Screen, make sure you check out the full program of fantastic movies showing this year.
When: The Mardi Gras Film Festival running from February 15 to March 1
Where: Event Cinemas, George Street
Explore Sydney’s dark past in this two-hour walking tour through the streets of the inner city. Starting at Hyde Park and ending up at Bear Bar with a refreshing complimentary beer and slice of pizza.
When: Wednesday 4 February
Where: Hyde Park Barracks
Sydney’s favourite men-only fetish party rounds out your Mardi Gras celebrations. Featuring some of the bears’ favourite DJs including Sydney’s Colin Gaff and US-based Matt Effect, this raunchy party will bring your Mardi Gras to the perfect climax. Leather, denim, jocks, or sportswear encouraged.
When: Sunday 4 March
Where: 134 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst