Article Title:Hair raising and stubble rousing
Author or Credit:Jacqui Stanford
Published on:7th February 2011 - 12:42 pm
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Story ID:9883
Text:Keir and Growler as they've never been seen before If you see a dozen burly, hairy men running down K' Rd in dresses, wigs and heels next week, don't worry, it's not the apocalypse. It will simply be Bear Drag, one of the must-see events of the incredibly popular festival Get It On! Bear Week, which kicks off at the Big Gay Out this Sunday. The festival is back after a first outing last year which left the punters raving and the organisers stunned: "We couldn't have asked for a better first outing last year and the word really seems to have spread," says one of the men behind Bear Week, Alan Granville. "Of course it's a bit nerve-wracking as well as there is a lot more pressure on us to produce an even better week this year, but hopefully everything will go off without a hitch." The Urge co-owner believes the easy going attitude most bears have is the reason so many people can relate to the subculture: "They just get on with their lives and tend to be more drama free and are just a friendly bunch. Some people can get hung up on the more physical stereotype of what a bear is, but generally if you think you are a bear, then you are one!" Granville says there has been a huge spike in interest from around New Zealand and Australia and even further beyond: "We have a couple of visitors over from England after seeing our flyers in a bar in Sitges, Spain. We know of at least 40 Australians coming over – we only had five for our first year! And the fact that the Bears Christchurch group organized their own Mr Bear event with the purpose of sending their winner to our contest I think shows that Bear New Zealand is getting beyond the Bombays." While the Bear Drag dinner at Caluzzi has sold out, you can still watch the Drag Race from Kamo to Caluzzi on Tuesday night. Granville says the event was a real highlight last year, as he and three other members of the Urge staff 'performed' for one night only in front of a sold out Caluzzi crowd. "I now have complete admiration for anyone who does drag," he says. "We have a whole new troupe of Bear performers this year, including one of our overseas visitors and our first trio." Get It On Bear Week has its launch party at the Urge and Caluzzi Beer Garden at the Big Gay Out this Sunday. Granville says they decided to move Bear Week to follow the Big Gay Out rather than closer to Mardi Gras, hoping to springboard off the massive interest in the biggest glbt event in NZ. "It gives a host of our overseas visitors a chance to experience the Big Gay Out for the first time as well." Anyone who purchased the full package of tickets can pick them up from the beer garden, as well as Tri-Nations tickets and the brand new Bear NZ 2011 t-shirts. Tickets to the events have been selling like hot cakes; with the Bear Drag and screening of the documentary Bear Nation already selling out, along with the full package of tickets to all the events. There are still tickets for the Tri-Nations dance party on February 19 available, while tickets to the UnderBear Party on February 16 will be available on the night only. You can win a double pass to the Tri-Nations party with - just tell us who the hottest bear in the world is and why! Head to our competitions page  Get It On! Bear New Zealand 2011 Events: Feb 13: Launch at ‘Get it On! Big Gay Out' at the URGE/Caluzzi Beer Tent Feb 14: Wet Fur at Centurian Sauna Feb 15: Drag Race at Kamo followed by Bear Drag at Caluzzi. SOLD OUT Feb 16: ‘Underware' Party at URGE Feb 17: NZ premiere of 'Bear Nation' documentary at Galatos. SOLD OUT Feb 18: Mr URGE New Zealand Bear 2011 at URGE Feb 19: Tri-Nations Party at 4:20 Bar Feb 20: Closing BBQ near Grey Lynn Park Check out a video of last year's Bear Drag: Jacqui Stanford - 7th February 2011    
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