Bear Pride celebrates its 10th birthday over the Jubilee weekend. Cliff Joannou speaks to XXL promoter and Bear Pride founder Mark Ames…
Hey Mark. Bear Pride is upon us again and it’s the tenth anniversary! Why did you start the event in the first place, and why do we need Bear Pride today?
To stop people like yourself constantly getting laser hair removal. It’s ok to be furry – live with it!
I’ll stop Veet’ing wit immediate effect. What have been your favourite highlights from the past ten years of Bear Pride?
Miss Peppermint and Sherry Vine’s performance – outrageous!
How do you think the bear community has evolved over the past ten years?
Hugely, [it’s developed] from a subculture on the fringe, to being openly and readily acceptable in today’s LGBT community.
So, do you need to be a bear to enjoy Bear Pride?
No, that’s why there’s cubs, chubs, blokes, etc all joining in the fun.
We notice that as well as pulling in the big bears, daddies, chunks and chasers, XXL now attracts a range of gay guys, from twinks to muscle mary’s. What do you put this down to?
Our expensive advertising campaigns in QX! But to be honest it always has attracted all types – remember XXL is ‘one club fits all’.
And it certainly does! We love it there. Describe the music policy to any gays yet to experience the XXL magic…
There’s uplifting funky house in the main room, and eclectic retro 80s and 90s classics in the Fluff Bar.
Bear Pride is taking place over the Jubilee weekend, too. Will you be laying on extra special surprises for all the other queens in attendance?
Of course – but I’m not letting the cub out of the bag until the big night.
DJ Cristian M’s Top 5 Bear Pride tunes
1. Rihanna – ‘Where Have You Been’
The XXL guys go crazy when the acid rift kicks in.
2. Bimbo Jones & Ida Corr – ‘See U Later’
This is a lot of fun! Expect great things from Bimbo Jones later in the year.
3. Martin Solveig – ‘The Night Out’
A monster of a track that will be huge this summer! Head straight for the Maison mix.
4. Beyoncé – ‘Countdown’
The Jack Beats remix of this is just insane, and you’ll need lots of energy to keep up with it.
5. Serge Devant – ‘True Faith’
A great reinterpretation of the New Order classic. Moody and meaty.
• Bear Pride is at Pulse (1 Invicta Plaza, South Bank, SE1 9UF) on Saturday 2nd June, 9pm-late.