Full text of GCN article
Dublin Bears were one year in existence at the end of April 2011. It all started with a bunch of guys thinking about running a Bear event, after having been to various bear runs and festivals abroad like Bearscotsfest, Sitges Bear week etc. John Quinn and Tom O’Connor sat down and started coming up with ideas of how it might work. We already loved Martin McCann’s very successful Furry Glen, which in fact was where we met and started formulating our plans. Soon we had a committee and were talking to venue managers, DJ’s and drag artistes with what must have seemed like an outlandish formula, something very new to the Dublin scene. There had been various successful Bear / Leather groups and events before like LUBE and Bearskin, but we were planning something different. As we were total amateurs with no experience of event management, I think we raised a few eyebrows and had to work extra hard to make it work well. Béar Féile came together at the end of March 2010, and to our amazement it took off like a rocket!!
Following on the success of the Féile, the Dublin Bears club was born. We are a social group of guys of all ages, builds, and backgrounds who identify as Bears or admirers. Our committee runs monthly nights upstairs in Nealons of Capel street, with varying themes. Our nights typically include a raffle and a buffet and lately we have started featuring movie nights. We have already had a Grace Jones night, a Halloween party, uniform and leather nights. We arrange theatre / show nights and have plans for a Ghost Bus tour and other events outside of the pub scene. We have just enjoyed a tremendous Béar Féile 2011. We are already planning our Bearovision for May and Bear Pride in June, and will make our annual pilgrimage to Belfast in July for the fantastic Bears weekend . We have enjoyed the wonderful talents of DJ’s like Gerry Moore, Martin McCann and Alf to mention just a few, and , of course, the Fabulous El Styra has entertained us with great fun and flair since the outset.
We were honoured to have Ms Panti as hostess for this years Mr Bear Ireland competition, the title of which which was won by Billy Forbes. Special thanks to Bill Hughes who has been our MC on several occasions.
We are a non profit club run by unpaid volunteers and try to keep admission fees to a minimum to cover costs We very much appreciate the support of our members, friends and local businesses and we try hard to make each event a positive and enjoyable experience for everyone.
For more details of our club, check our website www.dublinbears.ie or follow us on Facebook
Acknowledgements to Glenn Quigley, James Bearpix Coleman and Jonathan Robinson for their tireless creative work and support.
by: Tom O’Connor