BWM AwardsEvents

Meet the Nominees: Best Bear Event

Voting is now open for the second annual Bear World Magazine Awards presented by Bike Athletic in association with Growlr App and the Crown & Anchor.

Take a minute to get to know the nominees for Best Bear Bear Event nominees. Then be sure cast your vote by April 30th!


BearScotFest 2023 took place in Edinburgh from October 5th through 8th. Gorgeous bears from the United Kingdom and beyond descended on the Scottish capital for a weekend of fun, frolic and fraternizing. The theme of this year’s festivities was “Cabaret”, a throughline seen at the various parties, bar gatherings and events that weekend which included the election of the new Mr. BearScots, Sean Beasley.

The event is put on of course by BearScots, and they are Scotland’s social group for bears, cubs, chubs and their admirers. Founded in the spring of 2000, they hold monthly bear events in both Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Bear Carnival

Bear Carnival is the biggest bear event in Europe. The entire event takes place over a glorious 15 days on the beautiful subtropical island of Gran Canaria, typically in early to mid-Spring. Guests are invited to stay for as little or as much of the event as they want, to not only enjoy the beautiful European bears that flock to the carnival in droves; but also to luxuriate in the gorgeous weather.

This year the theme of the Carnival was ‘The Sportsmen Edition’ so the boys were decked out in their rugby kits, singlets and soccer uniforms for as far as the eye could see. And with over 60 events on the schedule there was plenty to look at! There were pool parties, beach parties, cruising parties, spa nights, happy hours, brunches, workshops, dances and so much more! Next year Bear Carnival will celebrate 10 years with the theme ‘Carnival of Carnivals’ which will incorporate aspects of every theme they’ve covered since the beginning!

Béar Féile

Back in the mid 2000’s the bears of Dublin met regularly at clubs like The Furry Glen, Men of the North and LUBE (Leather Uniform Bear Encounter). Some of the more adventurous among them used to go abroad to Bear events and festivals in Belfast, Manchester, Edinburgh and Sitges. Eventually, however, they thought it might be a good idea to start one of these events closer to home, and in March 2010 that’s just what they did when Béar Féile was born!

The goal was to create an event that would reflect the traditional flavor of the many festivals, or Féilí, that were so popular around Ireland throughout the year, but with the typically friendly Bear atmosphere that they had experienced at other bear gatherings abroad. From that mindset the Dublin Bears proceeded to create a template for  Béar Féile that had the flexibility within it to vary from year to year like most bear runs do. From the very beginning they sought to involve every venue in the Dublin Gay village with an event that suited their individual layouts and ambience and 14 years later it’s still going strong!

Lazy Bear

The Lazy Bear Fund has always been a grassroots, nonprofit organization. They give all of their profits to causes like clinics and schools and food banks. Started in 1996, the organization is currently steered by David Barker, Steve Adams, John Jacob, Trey Sheldon and Fred Bothe and Lazy Bear Week is their annual signature fundraising event.

For over 27 years, the folks at Lazy Bear have entertained thousands of guests in Guerneville, California in the heart of Sonoma County’s Russian River Valley. Attendees enjoy pool parties, dance parties, campfires, live entertainment and amazing DJs. Most Lazy Bear Week revelers stay in local lodges, campgrounds and cabins, or avail themselves to any number of options in nearby towns and cities. To date they’ve raised over $2.4 million for worthy causes and just keep on going!

North American Bear Weekend

NAB Weekend began as an idea shared between a handful of Kentucky Bourbon Bear club members one evening at a member’s home.  With the void left by the end of  International Bear Rendezvous (IBR), they recognized a need in the Bear community to carry-on the tradition of recognizing the talented bears across the country who had won local/state/regional bear/leather/bar titles.  And thus the Mr. North American Bear Contest was born – granting an opportunity for those title holders to gain international recognition & praise within the community.

Since that first event in 2012, NAB Weekend has grown to now encompasses a North American Titleholder Family that includes a North American Mama Bear, Cub and Pet in addition to the original Mr. North American Bear title. With a 4-day, action-packed schedule of fun activities, entertainment, dance parties, pool parties, concerts, food, drinks, vendors, and more; NAB continues to grow and attract bears from all over thanks to its inclusive mindset.


Born from the legendary spirit of the Bears on Ice festival, RVKBear emerged in 2019, thanks to the passion and dedication of a group of volunteers who believed the celebration should continue. In the heart of Reykjavík, a new chapter began with the formation of Bangsafélagið, or the Bears of Iceland, a non-profit organization committed to nurturing and expanding a vibrant local bear community.

RVKBear isn’t just any festival; it’s an intimate gathering that offers an exclusive experience. Event pass holders are treated to breathtaking nature tours, including visits to the Golden Circle and dipping in Iceland’s most famous geothermal lagoons, where the beauty of Iceland’s landscapes blend seamlessly with the joy of camaraderie. The festival is also packed with great parties every night and a variety of activities, ensuring every moment is filled with enjoyment and connection.

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