Main | Friday, February 18, 2011

The Final International Bear Rendezvous

Organizers of International Bear Rendezvous, the annual party weekend that for 17 years has drawn thousands to San Francisco, are calling it quits after this week's events.
"It was a big decision but we are going to do it," said Chuck Rudd, one of the organizers of the annual event aimed at hairy gay and bisexual men – and their admirers. The main reason behind the decision is economics, said Rudd. "It is becoming cost prohibitive to do. The hotel costs keep going up and transportation costs keep going up," said Rudd. The main draw at IBR is the International Bear Competition that crowns winners in the categories of International Bear Cub, International Daddy Bear, International Grizzly Bear, and the overall title of International Mr. Bear. It too will cease to exist. "The whole weekend is built around the contest. We are not doing the contest or the weekend next year," said Rudd. The Bears of San Francisco host the rendezvous. A related event, Bears Invade the Castro, now in its eighth year, that encouraged IBR participants to shop, eat or drink in the Castro over the course of the weekend, will also come to an end this year.
Local merchants are lamenting IBR's demise, which packs clubs and shops at a time of year when tourism is otherwise quite slow. While IBR cannot be reasonably compared to the traditional idea of a circuit party, its end does track with the overall spiraling down of the circuit phenomenon, which peaked about ten years ago.

Labels: , , ,

comments powered by Disqus