On November 19 the Dutch fetish dance party hit the Swedish capital, and it didn’t go unnoticed, to say the least.
A full house of kinky fetishists, latex lovers and dance fans enjoyed themselves in what was, if not the most intense and spectacular party of the year in the Swedish fetish club scene, then certainly one of them!
The event, a collaboration between the Unleashed crew and the Swedish club Dekadance, was an undoubted success.
Dekadance has been running for more than ten years as a club, but it is also an organisation taking a political stand, and has an impressive membership of almost 10,000.
The fusion of these two events became Unleashed Stockholm. And although Unleashed is probably the better-known name, it can likely thank Dekadance for reaching out to the networks in Sweden and filling the house.
Dekadance has a long history and has done an impressive job, not only in organising fetish events, but also working for the rights of fetishists in the quite conservative political climate in Sweden.
It’s no small paradox that this should be necessary when the liberal way of life and the tolerant ‘nordic way’ are supposed Swedish trademarks, and the country sometimes likes to view itself as a moral superpower.
The once famous ‘Swedish sin’ is probably more myth nowadays. Swedish fetishists have had to face a lot of prejudice and structural problems during the years, but under the surface the scene has grown to embrace thousands of people, with Dekadance being one of the leading beacons.
But back to Unleashed Stockholm. The venue for the occasion was Slakthuset (The Slaughter House), located close to Globen (the Globe) of Stockholm, a seemingly fitting venue where numerous alternative festivities have been held.
It was a night filled with shows, DJs and performers that drew a big crowd, mostly from the capital but also from all across the land. There was also an international presence, thanks to the Unleashed team of performers and artists.
One could also spot a few familiar faces from the fetish jetsetting crowd, such as Ian Dutton and Shea Hovey, alongside the many well known Swedish fetish people.
The venue suited the theme: intimate, with a nice blend of the slaughterhouse it once was and the decor style of a modern, international high-end club.
The two dancefloors were serviced by talented DJs like Lana Lain, Sofia Valentine and Torture Garden’s David TG who really had the crowd in their hands.
The performances at Unleashed Stockholm were varied and started outside the venue, where we got a warm, fire-breathing welcome from fire artist Sire Plague, before stepping in to meet the hostess, Minxx.
The night featured live music from MeltingDemon and the many faces of Macropunk from Madrid, who went from self-made fire wings to a classic fakir act.
Another highlight was London-based Shelly d’Inferno, who began her act with a fire show but also evoked mystery and eroticism with her UV show, demonstrating the versatility of her artistry.
The fashion show of the evening was presented by UK label House of Harlot, under the direction of new owner Iris Trika, featuring a mix of her HoH and Iris Thespider latex designs.
The show opened innocently, to the Chordettes’ classic song Lollipop, with the models wearing latex dresses. Then it abruptly changed to intense industrial beats, with the models ripping their dresses off to reveal latex underwear.
Among the newcomers one could not help but notice the possibly cutest model name of the year, My Little Vronie. Other models onstage were upcomer Ickykitten alongside more well known faces like Attera Nox, Necrinity and Pandalie.
It was a line-up that suggests a third wave of the Swedish Invasion (as documented a while back by The Fetishistas — link below) might well be about to crash onto fetish scene shores.
Some fetish events have a problem mixing shows with dancefloor action, so that shows supposed to be event highlights sometimes ending up slowing down and stealing the mood.
But the high pace of the various Unleashed Stockholm performances was smoothly maintained, blending seamlessly with the DJs’ pulsing dancefloor rhythms.
Here the balance seemed quite right and the shows seemed to serve as a time to rest the legs from stomping to the beats — to pause and get inspired by the visuals — before going back to being slaves to the rhythm.
This was thanks to a well-organised Unleashed crew who took care of almost every detail. I say ‘almost’ since one could have wished that the lights for the shows had been better set, especially for the fashion show. But that is indeed a small detail.
Speaking of details, when going into the backstage area, Kari Berg mentioned how clean and well-prepared it was compared to the last time she was at the venue.
All is relative though; coordinator Nicolette from Unleashed still wasn’t satisfied with it, even though she had cleaned the floor three times in readiness for the performers, models and designers.
Such details do make a difference, and the highly professional work of said coordinator was most definitely one of the keys to the success of the evening.
Many tend to forget the people working hard behind the scenes to create the perfect atmosphere, but here that work was top rate, right down to the presence of a nice ‘stage kitten’ (not a ‘stage hand’, as the job is usually titled).
The people attending were in general very well dressed for the event, thanks in part no doubt to the dresscode doorkeepers from Dekadance.
One could tell it was an interesting clash of cultures for an international event to merge with the Swedish scene.
On the one hand, the non-smoking indoor regulations and restrictive alcohol laws might be a surprise to some international guests. But on the other, they would notice the fantastic atmosphere created by the crowd, an atmosphere where it feels like ‘almost everybody knows your name’.
The Swedish fetish scene is a relatively small community but it provides a very friendly, open-minded and caring atmosphere for a party — a hallmark for the alternative scene in general.
It might come as a surprise to venue owners that for some reason, these people party like crazy but there are few, if any, security issues. This was certainly true of Unleashed Stockholm.
Rumours have it that the afterparty went on until lunch the following day, but I had to get back to prepare the photos and film from the event.
So, was Stockholm truly Unleashed? Will it be again? Have a look at the pictures and the video and judge for yourselves!
PHOTOS: Click a preview to display gallery thumbnails, then click any thumbnail to start slide show
VIDEO: Watch The Fetishistas’ video of Unleashed Stockholm November 2016 by Nikdesign here!