| length: 5 min. |
|Amsterdam Bear Weekend: Calling all Bears!|
by Norbert Splint in Events & Agenda , 02 March 2019
Dit artikel is ook in het Nederlands beschikbaar
length: 5 minuten
This year, the traditional Amsterdam Bear Weekend (ABW) will take place March 21-25. As in previous years, it promises to be a relaxed event full of togetherness, conviviality and a touch of horniness. Events in The Web, Prik and the Bear-Ball in Panama will guarantee an unforgettable weekend.
The Web: Bear Cave for a Weekend
The host during the Amsterdam Bear Weekend is Arjan Kröner (49), who has been the owner of The Cuckoo’s Nest for years, but since 2016 also of The Web. Born and partially raised in Amsterdam, he knows better than anyone what is going on in various scenes, including the bear scene. He emphasizes the social aspect. “In any case, The Web is a bar where solidarity is key. For thirty years now, cards are sent to regular customers with whom things are not going well. Nowadays, there are fewer cards and it is rather an app or Facebook message, but we are trying to keep up our involvement.” In the meantime, there is also room for happiness: for instance, Sinterklaas dropped by last year to assess whether everyone has been good, or bad. The rod and the sack were within reach, but gifts were also ready.
Speaking of cheerfulness: the intention is that The Web is a space during the ABW where people can let down their guard and relax. Arjan: “Look, of course The Web is a bar where the accent is more on cruising than on the cum-shot, if you know what I mean. You can also relax here while waiting for your date, without the bartender asking you what you want to drink every five minutes. Of course, you have to order something, but there is no one harassing you for ordering drinks. Some boys and men come by train, by taxi, you name it, and they are often delayed. During the ABW, The Web is the central meeting point where ultimately, you are warm and dry, with free WiFi.”
In The Web you can of course do everything your heart desires: for example, the space lends itself to organizing an extensive food festival at various tables, while the darkrooms also don’t have to remain unused. At the same time, all information about the ABW comes together in The Web. “We sell the tickets for the main party, we do an anti-hangover brunch, and all the people who work here are well informed and interested. So, no indifferent staff behind the bar that wants to go home quickly, but nice people who really want to create a Bear Cave. This starts the bear season: spring begins, everyone wakes up from their hibernation and goes into the street and into the pubs.”
Prik: Honey Bears & Polar Bears
Delicious news from the Spuistraat. Especially for the Amsterdam Bear Weekend, Prik hosts Jelger Bakker (41) and Gerson van Eck (42) have created two exclusive cocktails to treat bears. It concerns the “Honey Bear,” composed of maple bourbon, honey, lemon and a hint of cinnamon. The drink reveals itself as a delicious sweet-sour cocktail and is decorated with gummi bears. There is also the “Polar Bear,” a mix of coconut and chocolate liqueur plus a seven-year-old rum. This mix looks like a sweet beer-brown cocktail with a blizzard of coconut flakes. Both cocktails are € 7,50.
Jelger: “Behind the bar we have more otters than bears, but that most likely will be not the case in the rest of the bar. In any case, we will be ready to serve everybody, at least until Monday night.” For some, that Monday night is the absolute highlight, as the Prik will be serving - as they do on Sundays - the famous Dutch “bitterballen” (type of croquette served as an appetizer). Some bears actually leave their cave for them.
But there is more. For example, during the ABW happy hours - see program - a beer (0.5 litres) will be only four euros and there is sparkling prosecco on tap on Sunday and Monday for three euros. For this, you will want a change from your Growlr.
The famous Prik karaoke deserves some attention here, naturally presented by Sjonnie on Sunday evening. In this ABW edition, the bears are challenged to perform ABBA’s “Honey, Honey,” but doing a bear dance is of course also possible. “Of course, you can truly live it up. Even if you cannot sing, success is guaranteed. Our Sjonnie will take care of that.”
Bear-Ball in Panama: Home of the Mister Bear 2019 Election
Sjag Kozak (44) and Bram Sniekers (42) are the organizers of Bear-Ball in Panama. Exactly: they are also the men behind Bear-Necessity and FurBall. And Bear + Ball = Bear-Ball, the event for the Saturday night, pardon: the Saturday night of the ABW. There, the Dutch Mister Bear 2019 will be chosen during an equally spectacular and hilarious election. All this in collaboration with Club Church.
That the men of Bear-Necessity and FurBall do their thing together is interesting and fun. Interesting because in other bear cities such as Berlin and Madrid (in the arms of both cities, for example, a bear occurs), the organizers of competing parties want to crush each other, but work together in Amsterdam. And fun because both communities, which are already a great group, come together during a big and cosy party, where anything goes. This has been going well for years and - fascinating! - in contrast to other party tigers, the gentlemen process all the feedback they get. Bram: “Even if someone says that he did not like it in Panama, we do something with it.”
But just before the Bear-Ball, the Mister Bear 2019 election takes place. Sjag: “Meanwhile, five candidates have signed up and recruitment is still ongoing. It is very promising. They all have very different personalities: one has a Mohawk haircut, the other is bald, one is extremely hairy, and another completely smooth.” A smooth bear? Bram: “Why not? A Mister Bear is not chosen on looks, but on personality. What are you all about, what do you do with your bearness or what do you do not do with it? What motivates you to become a Mister Bear, to what extent do you approach the community in a subservient manner? That is important to the jury.”
Exactly who the judges are is still a secret. However, the name of the presenter is known: Rachèl BeauJolie. If that’s not a drag queen! The bear celebrations are not exclusively masculine. Sjag: “No, one of the judges is also a woman, and women are also welcome during the Bear-Ball. Just not in the dark room.”
The full Program and more information: amsterdambearweekend.nl
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