Ascension Day is a public holiday in Germany, and though it falls on a Thursday rather than a Monday, it still allows an extra non-working day to be included in the five-day GFB 2018 programme.
And since many in Germany take the Friday off too in order to have an extended holiday weekend, Germans so inclined can indulge their fetish interests to the full with minimum work-avoiding. So everybody wins.
For Germans and visitors from further afield, the Berlin fetish weekend is the most prestigious European long-form event on the international kink calendar.
Not only does it combine the sense of occasion and spectacle of the Ball itself with the shopping opportunities of the German Fetish Fair, and offer the wild, style-conscious party vibe of FetishGuerilla Revolution alongside play nights and other supporting events.
But it does all this in Berlin, a city brimming with mainstream and alternative cultural attractions. A city that offers visitors both excitement and good value — even for us Brits with our weakened pound.
So if you can only manage one European fetish weekend in 2018, the GFB Weekend is the one to aim for — especially if you’ve yet to experience the delights of Berlin the city.
Happily, the GFB 2018 dates — Wednesday-Sunday, May 9-13 — don’t clash with other major international fetish weekends (the cause of last year’s date change).
Nor, unlike last year, are the dates uncomfortably close to Fetish Evolution’s traditional Easter gathering in Essen (this year also a 15th anniversary celebration).
Basically, normal service has been resumed. There are no big surprises in the schedule for anyone who’s been to a GFB Weekend in the last few years, though there are a couple of minor changes to be aware of.
One difference with GFB 2018 is that the Kinky Cocktails opening party hosted by Savage Wear at Badehaus has moved forward to Wednesday night (May 9), so it no longer overlaps with the GFB VIP Reception & Play Night on Thursday 10.
At the other end of the schedule, you might expect — but you won’t find — a repeat of 2017’s Sunday night Sonic Boom party at Matrix. Sonic Boom was only possible on Sunday last year because that Sunday was followed by a public holiday on Monday.
And while it was a pretty good night, the fetish models whose (unofficial but popular) Sunday karaoke night concept was ‘borrowed’ for that extra official event probably won’t be mourning Sonic Boom’s non-return in 2018.
A ticketing tip: if you plan to attend all or most of the events in the official programme, it’s best to invest in a GFB VIP ticket at €135.
It will give you a substantial saving on the combined individual admission prices of all events. You’ll find a link to the GFB ticketing page at the end of this article.
Badehaus Berlin, Revaler Str 99, 10245 Berlin
KINKY COCKTAILS kicks off the 2018 Weekend on May 9 (KC 2017 photo: Heinrich v Schimmer)
Now well established as the official opening party of each GFB Weekend, the Kinky Cocktails/Savage Wear night returns to last year’s popular new venue Badehaus, in Friedrichshain just across the rail tracks from the GFB’s old home at Matrix.
This event brings together partygoers with models, artists, designers and other industry creatives to launch GFB 2018’s five days of fetish festivities. It’s primarily a relaxed social evening, with dancefloor
There’s no dresscode although fetish dress is welcome, and there’s a nominal entrance fee at the door of €5, which is included in the GFB VIP ticket.
Badehaus is located in the RAW area off Revaler Strasse, and accessed by the RAW entrance opposite the junction of Revaler and Simon-Dach-Strasse.
DarkSide Berlin, Nostitzstr 30, 10965 Berlin
Berlin’s legendary DarkSide BDSM club once again plays host to the GFB’s strict dresscode VIP reception and play night.
The evening includes a champagne reception for VIP guests attending GFB 2018 from around the world, and of course there’ll also be access to DarkSide’s well-equipped play space.
Admission is included in the VIP ticket; there is no separate presale option but limited tickets may be available on the door, subject to venue capacity.
Magazin in der Herresbäckerei, Köpernicker Str 16/17, 10997
LATEX 101 (Jo De Gisi, above) will as usual be among UK brands at the Fair (pic: Tony Mitchell)
The two-day German Fetish Fair takes place as usual in the ‘street end’ of the complex that also houses Spindler & Klatt, the riverside venue for the German Fetish Ball itself.
The Fair normally accommodates around 30 exhibitors of fetish and BDSM products and services, the majority being German but with a number of brands from further afield too, including some UK latex labels.
On the day before this GFB 2018 preview was due for publication, the number of confirmed stand bookings already stood at 27, with only four spaces left to fill. Organiser René of Xklusiv told us:
“Only two of these vendors have BDSM toys; the rest is pure fashion. So we might have a small venue for the Fair, but with so much new competition for the expo market here in Germany, we can gladly say we found the perfect niche!”
Below in A-Z order are the 27 confirmed vendors:
Amentium, AMF Korsets, beGloss, Benno von Stein, Black Surprise, Bondinage, Chronomatic, Cyberesque, Fetish-Design, Figure of A, Inner Sanctum, Jaded Jewall, Jed Phoenix of London, Latex 101, Leiband, Liquid Nymph, Luxure Noir, Mask & Co, Massad, Mowi69, Nikita Latex, Persephonie Ncredible, Peter Domenie, Rabenleder, Tatjana Warnecke, Vell and Yummy Gummy Latex.
We’ll be publishing a GFB 2018 Update closer to the event, and should be able to add the final few exhibitors at that point.
One-day tickets for the Fair cost €15 presale and €18 on the door. Discounted entry for both days of the German Fetish Fair is included in the GFB VIP ticket.
DarkSide Berlin, Nostitzstr 30, 10965 Berlin
Billed as ‘The BDSM Play-Party of the GFB Weekend’, Sweet Surrender is also described as a ‘lifestyle play party’ where for one evening, everyone must choose a role (top or bottom) and remain in it for the evening.
For ‘couples and their escorts’ only, this event comes with a set of rules that must be adhered to (see GFB 2018 website) and there will be ‘keepers’ on hand to enforce the rules. Admission is with GFB VIP ticket, or it’s €30 presale and €35 on the door.READ MORE QUICK LINK:
BELOW: Click previews for GFB 2017 Weekend galleries of Fair stands & people, Ball people and Ball fashion shows. Click thumbnails to start slideshows (photos: Tony Mitchell). More galleries on page 2
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