The programme of events for the 13th GFB sticks to the new and well-received ‘post-Matrix’ format, whereby this major international gathering is now staged the weekend before — rather than on — Whit Weekend.
This has enabled the organisers to exploit new venues for the Ball and the two-day Fetish Fair. Importantly it also allows the Ball to be staged on a Saturday night, rather than the Sunday nights at Matrix necessitated by holding the event at Whitsun.
As usual, the Ball and Fair are supported by a number of other events held between Wednesday May 4 and Sunday 8.
You can see the whole German Fetish Ball 2016 programme (according to the GFB website on April 4) at a glance in the German Fetish Ball 2016 Weekend Programme dropdown panel at the end of this article.
Some of the supporting events, like the Savage Wear Kinky Cocktails party and the GFB Play Night, both on Thursday 5, and the Sweet Surrender party on Friday 6, are official parts of the GFB programme.
Other events that you may see publicised — such as some hosted at Insomnia — are more opportunist than official. However, one of them — Young Love, on Friday 6 — has made it onto the GFB official website.
Wednesday last year kicked off the whole shebang with the GFB Welcome Dinner at Sage, a large restaurant on the other side of the same riverside complex that houses Ball venue Spindler & Klatt.
This meal had started out the previous year as an informal gathering of friends, but was formalised in 2015 as the GFB Welcome Dinner, with, at the restaurant’s insistence, a set menu that was, initially, extremely limited.
Faced with protests about this from people wanting to attend, GFB host René of Xklusiv managed to renegotiate the original menu a bit.
But his well-meaning attempt at an ‘official’ dinner still left quite a few people dissatisfied with the experience.
This might be why the Wednesday night dinner slot in this year’s GFB calendar is still, at time of writing, ‘to be arranged’.
Those three little letters ‘tba’ also, at publication time, still feature in the calendar’s Thursday afternoon slot, taken up last year by a Fetish River Cruise.
The 99 places on that first cruise sold out completely, and although the day was rather overcast and chilly, I got the impression that everyone had a good time. I know I did!
It was like an alternative meet and greet, where you could dress in fetish or not as you wished, keep yourself lubricated from the onboard bar, socialise with other pervs while cruising gently along the Spree, and even do some sightseeing if you were thus inclined.
This felt to me like a totally successful addition to the existing GFB programme (see River Cruise photo gallery below).
I’m therefore hoping that it will be making a late return to this year’s schedule when the German Fetish Ball 2016 website is updated.
STOP PRESS! Happily, we are promised by organiser René that he is focusing on sorting out these gaps in the schedule even as we speak!
As for Thursday 5 evening, I know the GFB Play Night at DarkSide is a must for those among us who expect at least one serious play party in a programme as long as the GFB’s.
This is the weekend’s official meet and greet event hosted by the Berlin latex label at Friedrichshain bar Rooster. When the weather is good, it spills out onto the pavement and develops a nice street-party vibe.
And if it rains? Well all I can say is, co-host Haydee Sparks better be wearing one of those fab new retro-style rubber raincoats she’s just added to the Savage Wear range!
Friday May 6 daytime brings with it the first day of the German Fetish Fair. It returns this year to Magazin in der Herresbäckerei, the converted army bakery Berlin veterans will recognise as the ‘street end’ of the Spindler & Klatt complex.
In the heatwave of June 2014 when the GFF was last held there, this venue became seriously hot inside. Consequently, that year’s GFF footfall and vendor sales suffered considerably.
These problems were doubtless among the reasons it moved back, in 2015, to an earlier Fair location — the Arena Berlin exhibition complex a bit further along the river.
The Glashaus — the building within the Arena complex chosen to house the 2015 GFF — initially seemed a better choice.
But some distinctly unfriendly management attitudes and heavy-handed interventions from venue security staff turned the mood at this event a bit sour.
I got the impression that the venue owners really didn’t want a bunch of pervs sullying this building and ‘disrespecting’ its much vaunted claim to historical significance (a bit of Berlin Wall runs through the middle of it).
If my impression was correct, then they’ve got what they wished for this year, as no pervs will be darkening its doorstep. But our photo gallery from the 2015 Fair (below) is still worth a look.
The evening of Friday 6 offers the option of three parties this year. But for many GFB regulars, the choice is a no-brainer. It can only be FetishGuerilla Revolution at KitKatClub, now moved to Friday from its long-standing Saturday night slot.
With its Torture Garden-like atmosphere, FG Revolution has become as important within the whole programme as the Ball itself — especially for locals who can struggle to afford the GFB’s €55 ticket price.
Faced with increased costs, Revolution host Martin Pelzer has kept his entrance fee down to €20 this year by not participating in the GFB ticket presale programme. He is selling tickets just on the night, just on the door.
The only exception to this no-presale rule is for purchasers of the €120 GFB VIP ticket, which does include admission to FGR in its package.
But The Fetishistas is delighted to have three pairs of tickets to give away for this year’s Fetish Guerilla Revolution. See the dropdown panel at the bottom of this article for details of how to win!
STOP PRESS! The original FGR performer line-up has changed. Elegy Ellem is still appearing but Clea Cutthroat and Miss Crash have been replaced by Amy Statik and Roxy Diamond. DJs are as before: Faray, Aline & Sune, Sabine Hoffmann, Räubertöchtäs, Puk, Sekto and Pandemonium (guesting from Vancouver’s Sin City).
And check out our photo galleries, below, of 2015’s Revolution people and the double flesh-hook suspension show by Mad Alan and Cynth Icorn.READ MORE
German Fetish Ball
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