German Fetish Ball 2017 details from official sources, apart from the start and finish dates, are still very sparse — not that helpful if you want to book your travel and hotels at the start of the New Year.
For 2017, the long weekend will officially start on Thursday April 27 and finish on Monday May 1. The significance of these dates is that, as in many countries, May 1 is a public holiday in Germany. This gives conscientious Germans a ‘free’ day of recovery from the weekend’s excesses.
Not unreasonably, however, the Monday finish has also led to speculation that the German Fetish Ball 2017 programme might be reverting to its earlier format in which the Ball itself happens on Sunday night, rather than in its recent and more popular Saturday night slot.
Speculation has been further stoked by mention in the same Facebook post not only of newer Ball venue Spindler & Klatt, but also of Matrix, the old Sunday night venue abandoned by the GFB’s organisers after poor treatment there a few years back.
Happily our spies in London and Berlin have been able to cast a little more light on the (at this point) darker areas of the German Fetish Ball 2017 programme.
We hear that the popular Saturday night slot for the Ball is being retained at Spindler & Klatt, but with a smaller cool-down event added at Matrix on Sunday. This extra Sunday event explains the Monday finish.
The long weekend will officially start with Thursday 27’s Kinky Cocktails, again hosted by Berlin fetish label Savage Wear — which has already published comprehensive details of its party.
And the good news on that front (we hope) is this year’s change of location.
With the painfully slow bar service at Rooster Berlin driving increasing numbers of fetish movers ’n’ shakers to find alternative places to celebrate their first night in town, Kinky Cocktails is moving this year to Badehaus Berlin.
Still located in Friedrichshain — at Revaler Strasse 99, a little closer to Warschauer Strasse station — this venue in a large detached house certainly looks characterful; let’s just hope the bar really is better!
Berlin partygoers for whom the weekend wouldn’t be the weekend without Fetish Guerilla’s Revolution party at KitKatClub will be pleased to know that FGR is scheduled for KitKat on Friday April 28.
Initially the shift of dates for the whole weekend looked as if it would preclude FGR from being at KitKat this year, as the earlier weekend’s slots were already reserved for other events.
But apparently some other people kindly moved their parties so that FGR at KitKat could continue to be a feature of the rescheduled GFB weekend.
Perhaps you’re wondering why this whole shift in dates has occurred? The trigger was allegedly a double clash
If the original GFB dates had only clashed with one other event — Florida’s Fetish Factory Anniversary which always takes place on the last weekend in May (Memorial Day Weekend in the US) — then perhaps the Berlin event would still have gone ahead on the expected weekend.
After all, while a few fetish jetsetters do like to attend both weekends, neither party would have been likely to lose a critical number of attendees through a direct clash of dates.
So, what was much more likely than any potential clash with Fetish Factory to have clinched the GFB decision to shift dates was the move of this year’s BoundCon bondage-fest in Munich to that same weekend slot.
This is not the first time BoundCon’s dates have been scheduled — by complete coincidence, naturally — for the exact same weekend as the GFB.
And evidence suggests that if that happens, the Berlin event is more likely to be the loser, at least in terms of vendors taking space at the German Fetish Fair.
Many people will be aware of some historical rivalry between big German fetish weekends.
But until recently, that rivalry tended to be between the GFB and Fetish Evolution, which traditionally takes place in Essen over Easter. But it now seems that for the GFB, the encroachment of BoundCon on its scheduling is a more serious problem.
What makes me think this? By moving to the May Day weekend, the German Fetish Ball 2017 programme now occupies a slot just two weekends after Easter.
With the first event in the GFB programme now just ten days after the usual last day of FE, these two old rivals, once separated by six weeks, are now breathing down each other’s necks.
And while their traditional six-week gap made it financially viable for many people to attended both FE and GFB, closing the gap to less than two weeks makes it highly likely that this year, many more people will have to choose between one event and the other.
So you’d probably have to conclude that GFB organisers Xklusiv must be pretty confident that they’re not going to be the losers in that scenario.
STOP PRESS: At the time of writing on January 1, there was no confirmed information about Fetish Evolution 2017 online. But while our original article was being finalised, organiser Miguel Infante posted in the closed Facebook group FetishEvolution that he would be holding his event over Easter (April 14-17) as usual. So it looks like he has decided to tough it out against the GFB. Watch this space. TM
Published January 1, 2017. Updated Jan 3, 2017