That low growl you hear is a local gay party staple sneaking up on you. Like a burly beast in the woods ready to pounce, it’s Atlanta Bear Pride 2021. Gay nightlife legends join forces for Atlanta Bear Pride this weekend, Sept. 10-13.
The annual event attacks this weekend with 10 individual parties to sate even the hungriest gay bear, whether he comes early, stays late or keeps going until sunrise and into the next day. Co-organizer and Heretic General Manager Alan Collins says, it’s all of that and more that make ABP such a draw.
“I think it’s a combination of things that keeps the crowd coming back,” Collins told Q. “The events, the DJ’s, the venues.
“The weekend gets bigger every year,” he added. “Guys fly back home and tell their friends.”
Collins produces Bear Invasion on Friday, and Matt Mikesell does Saturday night’s Bearracuda. They brought their cornerstone events together when they co-founded the annual event series a few years ago.
“These are the best guys I’ve worked with,” Mikesell said.
DJs on the roster at multiple venues include some of the biggest names on the gay circuit. Legends like Tony Moran, Serving Ovahness and Dan De Leon meet the masses alongside sure bets including J Warren and Mohammad, plus local favorites like Dee Martello and Karlitos. And that’s just the tip.
“The DJs we bring play a huge part of Atlanta Bear Pride,” Collins said. “Matt and I are very strategic in our DJ selection. If the DJ sucks, there will be no magic!”
“We have such a great lineup this year with DJs from all over the country,” Mikesell told us. “After delaying Atlanta Bear Pride a couple times since early 2020, people are definitely ready to come out, socialize and dance.”
Gay sports bar Woofs Atlanta is on board again this year with beer and grub during two ABP weekend events. Mike Woodside and Collins host Bear Tea on Saturday, and popular pop-up party boys Fuego Productions get in on the action on Sunday.
Atlanta’s newest gay dance club Future is also part of the mix all weekend.
“We’re particularly excited for a new venue and two new events this year,” Collins said. “Keith Young who owns Xion Afterhours has been part of ABP since the beginning, so since he opened Future in Underground Atlanta, that’s where all the afterhours events and the closing party will be held.”
But beyond the talent and the producers, the organizers say it’s the Bear Pride crowd that is the true star of the weekend. Their energy keeps the party going.
“The biggest reason we succeed is because of our amazing bear community we have in Atlanta,” Collins said. The ATL Bears love a party and we’re so fortunate to be able to do this for them.
Visit atlantabearpride.com for tickets and more details. For venue info, visit hereticatlanta.com, woofsatlanta.com, future-atlanta.com and fuegoproductionsatl.com. All ABP events require proof of vaccination. Find the full schedule below.
Ready, Set, Pounce!
Friday, Sept. 10
Bear Pride Warmup Party
Woofs, 7 p.m.
Bear Invasion ABP Kickoff
DJ Dan De Leon
Heretic, 10 p.m.
Future, 3 a.m.
Saturday, Sept. 11
Bear Tea Dance
DJ J. Warren
Heretic, 3 p.m.
Bearracuda ABP Main Event
DJ Tony Moran
Heretic, 9 p.m.
Future, 3 a.m.
Sunday, Sept. 12
Bear Pride Sunday Funday
Woofs Atlanta, 1 p.m.
Seaman: Bear Pride Sunday Tea
Pop Up Club ‘Crazy Atlanta,’ 3 p.m.
Atlanta Bear Pride Closing Party
DJ Dee Martello
Future, 7 p.m.
DJ Serving Ovahness
Future, 12 midnight
This article also appeared in Q ATLus Magazine. Read the latest issue online here: