About Bear Bash Events
Bear Bash Events LLC is an internationally recognized event brand that hosts events for the gay bear, gay leather, and gay men in uniform communities.
At Bear Bash Events, we bring together a broad and diverse group of men to foster, create, and build an inclusive community free of drama and judgement. We achieve this by supporting, promoting, sponsoring, and hosting events within our communities that strengthen our mission. .
Established in 2010, Bear Bash Events hosts both one day/night parties and multi-day major destination events. We have welcomed thousands of men from around the world to our events and parties throughout the years.
OUR MAJOR DESTINATION EVENTS
INTERNATIONAL BEAR BASH – International Bear Bash (IBB) is an event wholly owned and operated by Bear Bash Events LLC. Established in 2010, as Orlando Bear Bash, International Bear Bash continues to be an event for gay bear, gay leather, and gay men in uniform. International Bear Bash is one event among many in a great tradition of events for the gay bear sub-culture. The event provides a social, inclusive, diverse, and friendly atmosphere for this group of men. In 2010, and through to this day, the event organizers market to a broad and diverse group of men from around the world. In 2013, because of our extensive geographic diversity and international success, the event officially changed the name to International Bear Bash. International Bear Bash takes place during the month of September in Orlando, Florida.
EVENT HISTORY AND DEMOGRAPHIC REACH
In our inaugural year (2010), with just four months of marketing, the event drew 155 men from 16 US States and Territories and 3 Foreign Territories. The inaugural event was held at the Sonesta Hotel in Downtown Orlando (now, The DoubleTree Downtown Orlando). The event was a huge success and the feedback from guests, taken from our extensive surveys of each aspect of the event, was remarkably positive.
After the inaugural event in 2010, our team could not rest on our laurels. We put together a blue print incorporating feedback from our guests and we also planned a comprehensive marketing strategy. Our marketing strategies have been remarkably effective in growing the event throughout the forthcoming years. Bear Bash Events also has a robust social media campaign which serves to promote our event and is an adjunct to our global marketing strategies.
From 2010 – 2016, the event saw explosive growth and welcomed thousands of men from more places than could have been imagined in 2010. Our guests throughout the years have hailed from all US States and Territories and dozens of Foreign Territories. These international guests have included men from: Argentina, Brazil, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, Trinidad & Tobago, UK, Israel, Canada, Germany, Spain, Netherlands. just to name a few.
2016 AND THE PULSE NIGHTCLUB SHOOTING
2016 proved to be a difficult and emotional year for the Orlando community and International Bear Bash. In the early morning hours of June 12, 2016, our host city of Orlando, FL, was home of The Pulse Nightclub Shooting; a terrorist attack that claimed the lives of 49 innocent victims in our community. The months following this tragedy were very difficult times for Orlando and the LGBTQ community worldwide.
International Bear Bash, scheduled to take place just three months after the Pulse Nightclub shooting, decided to slow the promotion of our 2016 event in light of this execrable tragedy. Although this is usually the busiest time for our pass sales, we wanted to honor and respect both the victims and families. Simply put, we made a decision not to eclipse the mourning of the community, and the victims of the shooting, with a bunch of event promotional parties. Moreover, in August 2016, thematic with our commitment to charitable work, we made a cash donation of $700 to The Center Orlando to assist them in their leadership efforts during this difficult time in our community.
Additionally, in August 2016, we began to hear of the economic impact of The Pulse Nightclub Shooting on the Central Florida LGBTQ business community. Since many of the local businesses and events have been supporters of both our event and the broader community, we decided to help them in improving the local economic impact of the tragedy. In an effort to help with this, Bear Bash Events gave away hundreds of free passes to International Bear Bash 2016 throughout Central Florida during August and September 2016 in an effort to draw people to local businesses and events.
In September 2016, just days before International Bear Bash, our senior organizers met with Homeland Security’s, Protective Security Adviser, Marty Smith. Mr. Smith provided information and training materials for us to use to ensure the safety of our guests and we worked collaboratively with them to ensure our guests all safely returned home after our event.
International Bear Bash 2016 welcomed nearly 700 guests from around the world. International Bear Bash 2016 was the last International Bear Bash event held by Bear Bash Events, but plans are underway for the resurrection of the event in 2020.
FUTURE PLANS FOR INTERNATIONAL BEAR BASH
Much like our other International Bear Bash Events (IBB), 2020 will include several parties throughout four days of main events. As always, since the event draws an international crowd that frequently travel a significant distance for the event, the event also includes early arrival/pre-comer events and late stay events such as Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights.
PARTIES OF BEAR BASH EVENTS
Bear Bash Events LLC hosts several themed parties, as well as, several IBB promotional parties throughout the year. Our parties are often imitated, but never duplicated.
In the past some of our theme parties have included:
DECADES – A RETRO PARTY – Bear Bash Events hosted the original and first DECADES – A RETRO PARTY themed night in 2011 at Boot Rack (Jacksonville, FL). DJ and Producer Barry Huffine spun the crowd through the decades (1960’s-2011) on a rainy summer night out on the back deck. Since the first DECADES party in 2011, the party was also held by Bear Bash Events LLC at other legendary venues like The Eagle (Atlanta, GA), Icebar Orlando (Orlando, FL), Steel (Orlando, FL) and several venues from 2011 – to present. Although, originally a Bear Bash Events party, DECADES has been copied by other event organizers who bring you a similar theme under the same name.
POLAR BEAR PARTY – The initial Polar Bear Party took place at ICEBAR Orlando (Orlando, FL) in 2010. Celebrity and internationally renowned DJ Brian Dawe spun the first Polar Bear Party. Since the initial party, Bear Bash Events has hosted several Polar Bear Parties at ICEBAR Orlando with several well known DJ’s. Most often, but not always, our POLAR BEAR PARTY takes place during Tidal Wave Party weekend. Our friends at Tidal Wave Party have worked collaboratively with us to shuttle guests to and from ICEBAR Orlando.
BOOTY CALL – AN AFTER HOURS AND UNDERWEAR PARTY – In 2011, Bear Bash Events hosted our first Booty Call, an after hours and underwear party, in the grotto of Pirates Dinner Adventure. This party was held multiple years and, in 2013, the party supported the International Bear Bash – A Pirate’s Treasure theme. There was a clothing check and hundreds of sexy bears from around the world literally partied their pants off. BOOTY CALL also served as a fundraising event for The Center Orlando through our Chinese Auction that was held as part of the event.
MARDI GROWL- The first Mardi Growl party took place in February 2011 at Orlando’s Mr. Sister’s. DJ Irene Pardo, a Mr. Sister’s regular, was the first DJ to spin a one of our Mardi Growl parties.
FUR WEEKEND – The original and first FUR WEEKEND was a partnership between Roy’s Hideaway Campground and Bear Bash Events. The event took place at Roy’s Hideaway Campground in Collins, GA. The weekend featured a packed schedule of events featuring, pool parities, DJ entertainment, live band, and several other activities. Our friends at Roy’s Hideaway Campground continue to host FUR WEEKEND each summer as an event of Roy’s Hideaway. Don’t miss out on this fantastic event and this amazing and welcoming place.
GROWLOWEEN – Bear Bash Events and Roy’s Hideaway (Collins, GA) teamed up for the first Growloween party in October 2016. Growloween is a Halloween themed event that includes a costume contest, scare zones, and several other events. DJ JT RAZOR was spinning the hits throughout the full event.