Review Darklands / Fetish Pride Belgium 2018
Last weekend we’ve been in Antwerp, a lovely Belgian city famous for it’s diamonds. And one of these diamonds we have been exploring and enjoying: Darklands / Fetish Pride Belgium. To be honest, it is our first visit to this first European fetish get-together of the year. We have heard a lot of good things about this event before but our expectations haven’t been fulfilled. It is much better than we’ve expected!
The “under-one-roof” concept which has been described by Jeroen, the responsible organiser, in his preview on sadOsam is really persuading, even more as the temperatures outside are very low at the moment. A big warehouse directly at the border of the river Schelde is the place all Kinksters with as many different fetish as you can imagine, are meeting and having party. During the day one side of the warehouse is hosting Darklands, a shopping paradise for fetish lovers. Many fetish labels are presenting their products often in combination with shows.
Like at Ikea there is a special zone next to the entrance with a ball bath and other playgrounds. No, children are not allowed to visit Darklands but there are many playful pets enjoying this area. 🙂 Of course there are also many other playgrounds, some with more others with less light and a lot of equipment ready for your use and fun. Also very important for a big event with kinksters is the big changing room with many lockers which you can rent. So you can arrive in normal cloths and change you up there.
Of course to watch the guys go into their tight rubber suits or whatever they have brought with is a big show, but there are also two big official stages on which they present you a lot of shows like Mr. Rubber Europe, Mr. Leather Belgium, Mr. Puppy Europe, Mr. Superhero, bondage shows and much more. These shows and also the other program is important even if you don’t really follow them, as it gives you a good background noise to socialise and it is always a good topic to start with, if you talk to someone you didn’t know before. The show areas with the bars are also the places where at evenings the parties goes on. Great DJs doing good sound, a lot of hot kinksters wearing their best fetish cloths and of course busy bars make it the place to be. But of course at the evenings the different huge darkrooms and play areas are very busy. Sodom and Gomorra seem to be Belgian cities during Darklands.
Of course there is also The Boots in Antwerp, during Fetish Pride a real crowded fetish bar with darkrooms which is a nice place to visit too but the great thing at Fetish Pride Belgium is, that most of the people are all the time in the same venue. That makes this event really social and you meet all the people you have been talking before on twitter, recon or other chat rooms and after a short talk (if necessary) you can visit with them the playrooms, the bar or bring them to your hotel room after the party.
It is really nice not to be forced to decide at which venue you’ll visit which party and it is really nice to see that people of different fetish like to have party together, even if there are also themed parties there. Ok, I think you’ve realised, that I’ve become a big fan of this event and I think my pup se7en too, or what do you think about Fetish Pride Belgium?
se7en (Switzerland): Oh definitely!! I got hooked. I loved running around the many areas, shops and stages and always seeing some event or a friend to talk to. And I made a lot of new ones too. There was always something going on, I’m sure I missed half the program. But I can honestly say I don’t mind the slightest, because I had a wonderful time with what I got to see and experience. The whole weekend went by in a flash. I am missing it already. When will be going again?
MasterMarc: I’ll go next year for sure, but you have to be a good boy to get rewarded with this event. What was in your eyes so special? What makes Fetish Pride Belgium so unique?
se7en: I think it’s that they had so much happening all in one place. I never had to leave the venue for something. Ok except when they closed it so they could prepare for the parties in the evening, then we went for some food and a change of clothes. But else you just could wander around the area, do some shopping, enjoy drinks with some friends or watch the performances, go do silly things in camp k9, jump in the ball pit. You never get bored. And since it’s all in one place you will definitely meet a lot of friends and great people. To be honest that can sometimes almost become exhausting in the beginning. But after 1-2 days you met most of them and it quiets down again, then you can just do your programm and enjoy how you like.
Yes the socialising aspect was great. Btw. thank you, se7en, for the review video. Let us see what other guys we’ve met in Antwerp are telling us about their experiences. Let’s start with spot, a well educated slave of a great master from Stockholm is telling about his experiences:
spot (Sweden): Wrapped up in my Hogwarts onepiece sipping coffee at the kitchen table, still a bit high on all the endorphins from the passed weekend. Happy to finally have had the opportunity to go, happy for all the great encounters I’ve had and happy to be allowed back at a table. I’m slave 967-923-081, currently known as spot, collared by Master Vince and I’ve just had an amazing weekend in full service.
A year ago my Master visited Leather Pride for the first time and since then I’ve heard nothing but how much “I would have loved it”. That said, my expectations were high and Darklands almost ticked every dirty box. “Like an indoor Folsom” I’ve heard myself say to my friends since I got back home. A great big (warm!) hangar with a welcoming and homely feeling. 50% fetish market and 50% fetish fun. The main stage was impressively built and just like Gay Pride here in Stockholm every performance and speech was translated into sign language, which helped creating the inclusive atmosphere.
As the BDSM practitioner that I am, I’ve usually got something to say about the play areas allocated for SM activities. At Darklands they were basically non existing. On top of the biggest darkroom there was a second floor built as a photo exhibition where they put some SM furniture. As in many cases, proper lighting and appropriate sound levels were lacking. The floor was a non slippery metal with the effect of a shredder for us working on that level. Luckily Master is a creative Man and used the lit up fence just outside the paramedics corner for an intense flogging session ending in complete blood shed. If you’re interested in seeing the results of that please visit alpha-slave-spot.tumblr.com. Considering the bad conditions this ended up on the top three list of the best experiences from the trip.
All in all Leather Pride Antwerp is one of the best events for diverse pervs I’ve come across so far. See you next year!
Mu Delta (Belgium): When talking about the Leather & Fetish Pride in Antwerp some elements always return: the greatness of the everything-under-one-roof concept, the general quality of the event, the coziness of Antwerp, etcetera. I do not want to go further into those here.
Instead i want to focus on aspects that are less often discussed.
What struck me this year was the attempt to be welcoming and inclusive. From the sign language interpreter, over the reminder about the importance of consent, to the warning about reaching a zone where one could encounter sexual performances.
It is difficult to quantify the results of those measures, but in my experience this event has a very friendly atmosphere and these measures might have something to do with it.
For me personally it is a great gathering of like-minded people where i can meet friends from abroad and finally meet those i connected with online.
Pup Cassy (UK): Darklands had been an event tales had been told of for a number of years, from enticing to down right outlandish, and so naturally curiosity bought a return ticket for a long weekend to Antwerp. It delivered. What can only be described as an array of adjacent commercial airline hangers nestled within a remote arctic expanse. Unsuspecting would be added too if it weren’t for the car-size letters on the front. Within these walls a wealth of spectacles to see, flaunting a diverse assortment of seduction with some truly memorable characters. Something for everyone. A sustained electric atmosphere throughout the whole time there. So much to see and so much to do, from kinky retail therapy to getting a bespoke fetish hair cut. Alluring fetish artwork to some very intimate demos… and of course the dark rooms! This really was a place that catered for the old and the new. After speaking to a number of new and old friends it appeared as though no matter how experienced you were, you felt very welcome and truly part of the gang.
For me, there was not enough hours in the day. The closest I’ll ever get to speed dating. Thank you all for making this a most memorable maiden voyage. You know who you are WAGZ In particular SamRubber. Mr Rubber France. It was a real privilege spending some quality time and conversing over rubber with you Thursday evening before the shenanigans ensued. You are beyond question a valuable asset to our community! licks. This venue has certainly earned an annual spot on the calendar. Thank you to all organisers, staff and kinky perverts who made it an awesome affair! Until next February.
P.s. round of applause for the toilet attendants. Good sports!
Michael Duncan: Once again LeatherPride Belgium proved itself to be the flagship of European fetish events! The event just seems to grow bigger and bigger every year with more people & more companies during Darklands! As I were hired by Uk toys company Crackstuffers to be at their stand most of my time obviously was focused there with organising hot live shows & updating social media.
But i had a marvellous time socialising with all the hot guys in gear. Socially and sexually i dont think anything beats this event as there is something for everyone! I am definitely back next year!
Last but not least two great photographers from Milan, you probably remember their interview, are telling us about their experiences. Btw. we are lucky guys that we have got some of their pics to show you. Thank you.
Max & Marco, 4M Pictures (Italy): This was our first time at leather pride Belgium. We were really impressed by the perfect organisation of the fair, the shows and the whole event. It was like living on the Darkland planet for the whole time.
As photographers we had the chance to meet and shoot wonderful people in gear. It was our dream and we like to share it and make other people dream with us.
And of course we had lot of fun… not only with pictures! There were so many hot men…
Thank you for inviting us, we are really looking forward to next year.