Bear Essentials brings together the best of local bear culture and offers it to the world in one of the best cities in the world, Sydney.

The bulk of  our Bear Essentials Festival will run from the 23rd of Feb to the 4th of March.

The theme this year is WET, this should be a fun time and we would love to see you all there!

All of our events are now listed below! Ticket sales, including early bird tickets and party packs, will be available mid December!

Our DJ list will be announce next week, so keep yours eyes peeled and your ears to the ground!

Register your interest to march here!

Victoria Park, Sydney – 10:00am onwards

FAIR DAY is Mardi Gras’ beloved annual FREE family-friendly carnival of rainbow festivities – featuring a plethora of activities for the young and old, the tame and the bold!

Kick off your heels and enjoy a picnic with friends and family, or kick up your heels at the dance tent. See an amazing array of performers on the Main Stage, get amongst it in the Sports Village, sample the food stalls and admire the drag queens in all corners of the park.

There is always something for everyone at Fair Day, even our fur babies are a part of the action. Bring your most fabulous dog down to Fair Day to strut their stuff at our world-famous Doggywood competition.

Whoever you are, Fair Day is the must-do event of the year. For 2018’s huge 40th anniversary Mardi Gras season we’re back in Victoria Park. See you there!

Waywards – Upstairs at the Bank Hotel – 4:00pm – 9:00pm

Come along to our very own recovery at the Bank Hotel after Fair Day to relax with a beer, some great tunes and enjoy the start of the Mardi Gras festival!

Our usual draws and prizes will be available, and the crowd should be wild!

Discounted drinks, a fun atmosphere, arcade games out the back and $1 pool make this a fun afternoon!

We will have a DJ playing some tunes to get you pumped, and may even have some additional prizes available for lucky members.

Chapel Bar – Kinselas Hotel – 7:00pm – Late
383 Bourke St, Darlinghurst

Join us to open the Bear Essentials week for another year!

We will be at Kinselas Hotel in the Chapel Bar downstairs. This will be an introduction to the upcoming week, and will also hold our usual Bears on Friday door prizes and badge draws!

Come and see the committee on the membership desk if you need any information on upcoming events, or if you wish to renew or join as a member.

The Ox – 7:00pm – Late
197 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst

Brush up on your singing skills, and get yourself ready to be centre stage!

Saturday night will be host to the always fabulous Bearaoke night.

Hosted by the wonderful DJ Shanobear, Charles and Scott, this will be a night of fun and singing.

Get there early to search through the song list for your favourite tune and put your name up to belt out a tune.

There will be prizes available for those who go well, see you there for the fun!

Waywards – The Bank Hotel – 4:00pm – 9:00pm
324 King St, Newtown

Ready to get “Lei-d” at the Bank?

We are having a Hawaiian themed Bears at the Bank and you are invited to come and get Lei-d with everyone!

Come along in your loudest and best Hawaiian shirt, themed cocktails and decorations will be available, and grab a Lei on the way in!

A DJ will be on hand to keep us entertained throughout the afternoon and will be a great way to end the first weekend of your Mardi Gras and Bear Essentials week!

Our usual badge and door draws will be happening, so make sure you are there to be in with a chance.

Taronga Zoo – 10:00am onwards
Bradleys Head Rd, Mosman

Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!

The bears are going to meet the bears! Grab your ticket and meet us at the Zoo entrance (or circular quay if you are going to grab the ferry with a group) and lets enjoy the wildlife spectacle!

Gawk at the giraffes, exclaim at the elephants and laugh at the lemurs!

Visit the Taronga Zoo website for maps, guides and more information! https://taronga.org.au/taronga-zoo

Middle Bar – Kinselas Hotel – 6:30pm – 10:00pm
383 Bourke St, Darlinghurst

Press Paws is one of our most popular events at Harbour City Bears and everyone is welcome! Join us as your Gayme master Daniel presents another entertaining evening! The game for this will be Super Smash Bros on Wii U.

Entry is $10 which also gets you a ticket for the chance to win a Kinselas bar tab or one of our JB Hi-Fi voucher prizes at the end! Our standard prize pool will be doubled for this special event as well.

If you are a member of Harbour City Bears, don’t forget to bring along your membership card and show it at the bar to get the HCB discounts.

We will officially begin accepting registrations to play at 6:30pm and play will begin at 7:30. You have until the end of the first round to register! We aim to finish by approx 10:00pm.

Your host and Gayme Master, Daniel, will run you through the various stages of the competition and shower the winners with glorious prizes 😉

Middle Bar – Kinselas Hotel – 7:00pm – Late
383 Bourke St, Darlinghurst

This is your chance to get to know all the newcomers, and catch up with some old friends!

We will be hosting a meet & greet in the Middle Bar at Kinselas. Grab a cocktail or a beer, have a chat, and hopefully, meet somebody new!

We will have a DJ on hand playing some fun tunes, and our Press Paws event will also be happening just around the corner of the bar, so come along to watch the intense competition play out.

ARQ Sydney – 9:00pm – Late
16 Flinders St, Darlinghurst

The main event! Our world famous Underbear party is on again over both floors of ARQ nightclub in Sydney.

Get down into your jocks, and party along with all your friends and bear family.

We will have 6 DJs over 2 floors, belting out the tunes to get you pumping and grinding.

Afterwards, your wristband will get you discounted entry into Sydney Sauna, in case you wanted to keep the night going afterwards.

Our DJ lineup will be announced soon, so keep your eyes and ears peeled for info.

Wet n Wild – 11:00am – 6:00pm
427 Reservoir Rd, Prospect

Transportation information to come!

We are going to get seriously wet today!

Wet’n’Wild Sydney is the biggest and best water theme park and home to a never before seen range of slides and attractions including heart pumping thrills on the world’s tallest double SkyCoaster and the best beach ever with white sandy shores and no rips or sharks.

With over 40 slides and attractions including a whole zone dedicated to little water adventurers and adrenalin pumping action on some the tallest and fastest water rides in the world, it’s so much more than a water park.

357 Sauna – 7:00pm – Late
357 Sussex St, Sydney

Are you done with the rides and water at wet and wild?

Ready to get wet and have some fun in the sauna?

We have discounted entry to the sauna for ticket holders for this special night!

There are 4 levels, each with saunas, steam rooms, a spa, private screens and more!

Discounted house wine and beer is available, and there will be a hot bear behind the bar, ready to serve you!

357 is the only Gay Sauna that offers a fully licensed bar! Get a cold beer, white or red wine, soft drink. We also serve hot and cold food, cakes and snacks.

See their website for more details http://357.com.au/

Cook & Phillip Aquatic Centre – 5:00pm – 9:00pm
4 College St, Sydney

How could we have a WET themed Bear Essentials, without our annual Wet Furr party?

Held in the wave pool at Cook & Phillip Aquatic Centre, near Hyde Park in Sydney.

Enjoy splashing around in the main pool or hop into the spa for some relaxation time.

There will be plenty of inflatables for you to play with, and there may even be a few stray rubber duckies floating around!

Free Ice Cream will be available, and there are lockers available to stash your goods while you swim.

Chapel Bar – Kinselas Hotel- 7:00pm – Late
383 Bourke St, Darlinghurst

It’s the night before the parade!

Our weekly Bears on Friday event will be going ahead as usual, with our normal draws and sausage sizzle available. We will have 2 DJ’s on throughout the night to keep you entertained and committee on the door to say hi.

Please note that as it is a free event and this is a popular evening we will most likely hit capacity early and this will mean a queue to enter, please take this into account if  you are planning to have a big night!

Please be aware that your Wet Furr wrist bands or party pass will not get you any priority for entry.

Oxford St Sydney – 7:00pm – 11:00pm

If you are Marching with us, details will be provided for our pre-meet shortly

With 40 incredible years of passion, pride and protest, Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade has grown to a bustling extravaganza that brings Sydney to a standstill and shines a light on the issues affecting LGBTQI people around the world.

The 40th anniversary Parade looks set to be the biggest and most exciting yet, with a sparkling procession of over 200 groups and jaw-dropping floats showcasing the best our community has to offer. Dykes on Bikes, outrageous drag queens, community heroes and talented queer performers will join many more LGBTQI groups and allies from all walks of life to create stunning showpieces.

Join us for our biggest night of the year. A festival of love that knows no bounds, the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade. It’s big… it’s really big… and everyone’s invited.

The Bears will be meeting during the day at Kinselas to get everyone ready to head to our marshalling position and the float, make sure you come see us in advance to grab your wristband to be allowed into the parade area if you are marching!

Waywards – Upstairs at the Bank Hotel – 4:00pm – 9:00pm

The party is over and the events are all winding down, time to towel yourself dry and see off the week.

We will be having our farewell at the Bank Hotel on this final day of the festival, you are welcome to come along to have a final chat with your mates and a goodbye to all the fun times that have been had.

Our usual draws will be happening, and we will have a DJ on hand to see you off.

If you didn’t manage to get a hold of any merchandise during the parade, this will be your last chance to pop in to grab something.

Supporters, Venues and Sponsors