This year’s GFB — the 12th edition — is being staged between May 13 and 17, a week earlier than the Whitsun weekend slot to which it has traditionally been tied in Berlin. This brings with it several advantages.
Not only should the pre-Whitsun slot be accompanied by less extreme temperatures than those that caused so many problems last year — including low public attendance at the German Fetish Fair.
The date change also avoids clashes with not one but two other major German events that also attract many fetish people.
Until this year, the GFB has always clashed with Whit Weekend’s massive Wave-Gotik-Treffen festival in Leipzig — something that has led to many who are fans of both goth and fetish being forced to make difficult choices.
But without the date change, the GFB would also have clashed with BoundCon in Munich, which, according to its organiser, was ‘inadvertently’ booked this year for the same weekend as the GFB’s traditional slot.
So 2015’s earlier GFB not only avoids a triple clash but also means that the Ball itself can take place on a Saturday night (May 16) instead of the usual Sunday, with all the usual supporting events also moving forward by one day.
The night has changed but the Ball venue stays the same: Spindler & Klatt, the excellent riverside location that has proved very popular since the GFB parted company with Matrix a couple of years ago.
Mistress of Ceremonies at this year’s Ball will be Dutch model and chanteuse Rachael Vee (see top of page), veteran of other European events such as Fetish Evolution and Dominatrix and someone who certainly knows her way around a microphone.
This year’s fashion show features seven latex designers representing the UK, Netherlands and Germany. Depicted in the banner above this article, they are Ardita Fetish Fashion, Bondinage, Brigitte More, Mrs Gravedigger Latex, Inner Sanctum, Lacing Lilith and Pandora Deluxe.
All but one of these are already well-established names on Europe’s fetish catwalks. But with her cute, vintage-inspired, latex/fabric-mix lingerie, Frankfurt model-turned-designer Mrs Gravedigger should have no trouble holding her own with the better known brands.
Almost 80 fetish models had signed up for catwalk duties at time of writing. You can check out a selection of them in the two galleries at the top of this article.
In addition to the fashion, performances will include one by RopeMarks, the stylish Amsterdam-based bondage duo featuring recent Fetishistas cover star Dutch Dame.
The winners will also be announced in this year’s enlarged European Fetish Awards.
Traditionally judged by an industry panel (including The Fetishistas), the EFA this year adds two new awards decided by public voting: Fetish Model of the Year and Dominatrix of the Year
Last year’s GFB stage show, scheduled for 90 minutes, ran over by more than an hour in the 35 degree June heat, driving much of the audience outside to cool off by the river.
It’s almost certain not to be that warm this time, but don’t hold your breath for a shorter show. The GFB has yet to embrace the adage that the best shows always leave the audience wanting more.
Having a Saturday Ball this year means that Martin Pelzer’s FetishGuerilla Revolution party at KitKatClub relinquishes its traditional Saturday night slot and moves to Friday May 15.
FGR has gone from strength to strength since the GFB returned to Berlin in 2012, and with its fetish-meets-hardcore-clubbing vibe, is widely regarded as the other must-do party of the five-day programme.
With a well-selected line-up of nine DJs catering for most musical moods, Friday’s FGR also boasts shows by Mad Alan with Rubber Cult’s Cynth Icorn, Natsuimi Scarlett, and Clea Cutthroat with California’s legendary Miss Crash.
The Fetishistas has two pairs of tickets to give away for this year’s FetishGuerilla Revolution. Check out the dropdown panel below for full details!
This year’s date changes also mean that the two-day German Fetish Fair now takes place on Friday and Saturday, May 15 and 16. The venue for the Fair has also moved, though thankfully not very far — to the Glaushaus at Arena Berlin, also on the banks of the Spree. It is open from noon to 8pm on both days.
Around 30 exhibitors, including several top latex clothing and accessory brands, were listed for this year’s Fair at the time of writing. You can view the full list of vendors in the separate drop-down panel at the bottom of this article.
Incidentally, this new Fair venue has a historical angle that will interest many visitors: the Berlin Wall once ran right through the middle of the building!
There are also some interesting changes at the beginning of the schedule. Wednesday 13 starts things with a rather more formalised version of the informal ‘fetish friends’ dinner that took place at the Sage restaurant adjacent to Spindler & Klatt last year.
At the time of writing, the original arrangements for this 8pm dinner (with last year’s free-for-all being replaced by set menus and charges) had just been renegotiated, and the restaurant has now improved the menu for GFB diners. Sage should also be able to accommodate more than the 29 places originally reserved.
For those with different appetites on the first day, there is the chance to participate, for up to 12 hours from 4pm onwards, in Wednesday’s Wildest Fetish GFB Special at the legendary Insomnia club. Or you could fit in both, of course.
A nice new idea for Thursday 14 (which, being Ascension Day, is a German public holiday) is that afternoon’s GFB Spree Cruise. This jaunt will give a hundred pervy partygoers a chance to spend some leisure time actually on the river that most GFB regulars have crossed but never cruised on before.
The boat trip finishes in plenty of time to get ready for Thursday’s double bill of evening fare. At 8pm the GFB Kinky Cocktails and Savage-Wear Fetish Night kicks off once again at Rooster, while for those with play inclinations, there’s the GFB Play Night hosted again by DarkSide Berlin, from 9pm onwards.
Kinky Cocktails is definitely worth the effort. It’s an easy, sociable way to get into partying mode without having to dress up any more than your mood inclines you to. Rooster is a friendly bar where pervs can stay inside or spill out onto the street, and Savage-Wear have proved themselves charming hosts.
After Saturday night’s Ball, the final event of the official programme is on Sunday May 17, when the GFB Breakfast and Farewell takes place at the Cayetano restaurant. Its official brunch hours are 10am – 3pm, with the GFB event officially starting between 11am and noon, as far as we can tell.
This year’s hotel of choice is the nhow Berlin, on the opposite bank of the Spree from where the events are taking place, and within walking distance of many of them. Next door to Universal Music, the nhow has been, with its cool décor and musician-friendly vibe, The Fetishistas’ GFB hotel of choice for a few years now.
Gradually more and more GFB visitors have discovered its delights, and this year GFB organiser Xklusiv has relinquished the Ibis and will have its team based there too. This makes the nhow the nearest thing to this year’s official GFB 2015 hotel without the whole establishment being taken over by pervs!
As always, of course, Berlin offers many additional attractions besides the pervy partying and shopping.
The city is great for eating out, and this year’s GFB dates should coincide with the white asparagus season, when scores of Berlin restaurants offers this delicacy as part of their seasonal menus.
The Helmut Newton Museum is also worth a visit, and this year, the travelling Game of Thrones exhibition lands in Berlin in the hall right next door to the German Fetish Fair for the same dates as the GFB Weekend: May 13-17. They must have known we were coming!
Go to Page 2 for Heidi Patterson’s personal view of the 2014 GFB, complete with 50-plus pictures!READ MORE
FETISH GUERILLA REVOLUTION MAY 15 2015: TWO PAIRS OF FREE TICKETS MUST BE WON!
ABOUT THE PARTY
FetishGuerilla Revolution is considered by many regular visitors to the GFB Weekend to be the other ‘must-do’ party of the annual programme, alongside the German Fetish Ball itself.
This night at Berlin’s famous KitKatClub has a reputation for being more about hardcore clubbing than the other parties in the GFB schedule, and is often compared in atmosphere to a major Torture Garden event.
Entry to this year’s FG Revolution on Friday May 15 costs €18 in advance or €20 on the door. So free entry for our two pairs of lucky winners is worth up to €40 per couple.
HOW TO ENTER
To be in with a chance, just send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with ‘FG Revolution tickets’ in the subject field. Include your name and your guest’s name exactly as you want them to appear on the guest list (you can substitute ‘Plus 1’ if you don’t have a firm name for your guest at time of e-mailing).
The e-mail address you enter from must be the same as the address to which we should send confirmation if you are one of our winners.
Our winners will be the senders of the first two qualifying e-mails selected at random from all e-mails received by the closing date: midnight, London time on Monday May 4. Winners will be notified by
e-mail within 24 hours of the draw.
If you don’t win, you will still have plenty of time after May 4 to order tickets at the advance price, via the GFB ticket page where all other official tickets can also be bought.
Note: this giveaway is intended for partygoers who don’t usually have the chance to be on a guestlist. Industry folk looking for FGR guestlist places should approach the event promoter in the normal way.
GERMAN FETISH FAIR 2015: EXHIBITOR LIST (updated 9 May 2015)
Eros Fine Art
Fabulously Fetish new!
Feisty Cat Store
FineArt EroticToys new!
Shiri Zinn new!
Signs of O
Yummy Gummy Latex
COMPLETE GFB PROGRAMME MAY 13-17 2015
Wednesday’s Wildest Fetish GFB Special
4pm – 4am
Alt Tempelhof 17-19, 12099 Berlin
GFB Welcome Dinner
Köpenicker Straße 18-20, 10997 Berlin
THURSDAY MAY 14
GFB Spree Cruise
3:45pm – 5:30 pm
(No late admission)
Ship departs 3:45 pm sharp — be on time!
East Side Gallery/O2-World Pier
Mühlenstr 71, 10243 Berlin
GFB Kinky Cocktails & Savage Wear Fetish Night
Grünberger Str 23, 10243 Berlin
GFB Play Night
Nostitzstr 30, 10965 Berlin
German Fetish Fair (Day 1)
noon – 8pm
Glashaus Arena Berlin
Eichenstraße 4, 12435 Berlin
Nostizstr 30, 10965 Berlin
Köpenicker Straße 76, 10179 Berlin
SATURDAY MAY 16
German Fetish Fair (Day 2)
noon – 8pm
Glashaus Arena Berlin
Eichenstraße 4, 12435 Berlin
German Fetish Ball
Spindler & Klatt
Köpenicker Straße 16-17, 10997 Berlin
SUNDAY MAY 17
GFB Breakfast & Farewell
Simon-Dach-Str 14 (corner of Kopernikusstr), 10245 Berlin
(Brunch hours 10am – 3pm)