Let’s face it – many gay events are fabulous parties that are worthy of an annual appearance, so be certain to attend this year as well. Others, however, might not make your annual list due to location or time, so get on the bandwagon and do something different this year. Make 2016 extra special by adding these 5 gay mega events to your bucket list, and then work hard to cross off all five before the ball drops again this December 31st!
- Songkran Bangkok Circuit Party- Bangkok, Thailand April 14-17 – If you have never been to Thailand for their Thai New Year’s Celebration, this is one even that you will certainly not want to miss. This will be the 10th anniversary of G Circuit in Thailand, and it has grown in popularity each and every year. In fact, the event has gained such notoriety amongst gay travelers everywhere that the company now has their own office in Bangkok so that even organizers can spend the entire year planning for what many rate as the top gay event in Asia year in and year out. In addition to the all out water wars that take place throughout the 4 day event (this is Thai New Year after all), look for world class DJ’s, themed parties, and concerts at various locations throughout the holiday. Some events take place at luxury hotels around the city, while the event concluding bash will take place at Central World once again this year. The event is closed to only ticket holders, leaving gays and lesbians the world over to party to their hearts content.
- Carnival in Rio – February 2016 – Carnival is world renowned and has evolved through the years to attract nearly every type of traveler imaginable. Brazil is definitely a gay friendly destination, and Carnival this year will bring numerous events specifically tailored for those enjoying the homosexual, bisexual, or transsexual lifestyle. There are multiple gay and lesbian organizations promoting activities specifically for us during Carnival, and the Rio city website touts many of these as well. When traveling to Carnival you will certainly want to leave your inhibitions at home. This is the one gay friendly event in the world where literally almost anything goes. The great part about this event for the gay traveller is that one will feel equally as comfortable at any activity, no matter if it is open to everyone or exclusively for gays. This is a weeklong party, with literally hundreds of activities planned. Since you cannot attend everything, plan early and make reservations. To attend any of the parades requires the early purchase of tickets, and you will want to get your hotel reservations early as well. For American travelers, remember that a visa to Brazil is required, so make sure to allow for time to get the proper documentation. This will be one of your career travel highlights, so prepare to party hard.
- Amsterdam Bear Pride – March 3-7, 2016 – There are certainly Gay Pride events to take part in worldwide, but this one is unique and theme oriented. In one of the great European gay cities, Amsterdam does it right by hosting this weeklong event specifically geared for the Bears and Bear lovers among us. This will be the third year that Amsterdam is hosting this four day long event, and it continues to grow in popularity each and every year. It is much earlier than the official gay pride in Amsterdam, among the world’s largest, so it provides a unique opportunities for same sex travelers to experience the city in the heart of spring. Various venues around the city will be hosting parties and activities, with many gay and gay friendly hotels offering special rates just for attendees. Activities will include bowling, an extensive pub-crawl, nightly dance parties, various cruising activities, and the culminating event with the crowning of Mister Bear Netherlands.
- Dunas Festival – Gran Canaria, August 11-16, 2016 – Summer is made for fun in the sun, and this year you need to make plans for the Dunas Festival. Held at the Playa del Ingles in Gran Canaria, this is a week long event filled with hot dance parties by night, world class DJ’s, afternoon activities on the beach, a special fetish night, gay boat trip, and much more. This is a great opportunity to show off that great body you have been working on all year to this point. If this is still a work in progress, then have no fear – you can just sit back an marvel at all of the hot guys who will be partying hard. There is something for everyone at this festival, and the activities are as unique as the location.
- Paris Fetish #3 – May 26-May 29, 2016 – That’s right. An exclusively fetish oriented event makes the list for 2016, primarily because of its fabulous location in the heart of Paris gay life. Inhibitions are so 80s so get out there and let your fetish be known with other partiers from around the world. This is the third year that Paris is hosting this event for leather lovers and those into fetish, and this is gearing up to be the largest ever attended. There are more than 20 different themed events that have already been announced, with more likely on their way. It is noted that one of the highlights of this gay mega event is the BRUTHAL party. This is not to be missed, as it takes placed on a boat over the Seine River. There will be a large dance floor and the boat is specially set up to allow for ample cruising. While condoms and lube will be in ready supply, it is always best to be prepared yourself. In addition, bring your own personal toys and gears of choice, as it is certainly welcome in Paris come May!
Attending these five events will make you the envy of all of your friends, straight and gay alike. It is a diverse range of parties and activities spanning the globe. Each even individually is a spectacle to behold, but corporately they create a year in 2016 that you are certain to remember for quite some time. Plan early to get the best rates and to start assembling your gear. Keep in mind that some activities and parties associated with each even are extremely popular and tickets sell out fast. This is particularly true for Song Kran in Bangkok, so get yourself booked early with requisite tickets in tow.