One of the next bigger fetish events in Europe will happen from february 17 to 22 in Antwerp, Belgium. It is the Leatherpride which is much more than an event for leather lovers. This event is becomming more and more a hotspot and melting pot for all kind of kinky gays. Leather freaks, rubber guys, pets, sports wear lovers, etc. will come together for 6 days of party, socialising, shopping and fun. To know more about this great event we will talk to Jeroen, the organizer of the Leatherpride Antwerp.
MasterMarc: Hi Jeroen. In less than four weeks a lot of kinky guys will be in Antwerp for the Leatherpride. Could you tell us, why people who have never visited your event should really visit it?
Jeroen: Leatherpride in Belgium is a one-of-a-kind, quite unique. The lion share of the program takes place on the same location, the parties, but also the pride’s main event ‘Darklands’.
Darklands is the only gay fetish indoor festival in the world. Because of the winter period it seems logical that it’s inside, but that also gives us the ability to take live acts en shows to a next level, something you can’t do in public on a street fair for instance. When you visit Darklands you enter a world of male fetish with a wide program throughout both Saturday and Sunday to ensure everyone has a great time meeting old friends, connecting with new people, learning at workshops, taste in our restaurant, or simply enjoy the entertainment on one of the stages.
And of course all of that with some shopping at the fetish market.
MasterMarc: What kind of live acts and shows can we expect and what do you mean if you say that the shows are taken to a next level?
Jeroen: We offer several kinds of shows. Our porn director at Darklands, Ale Tedesco, presents 5 different porn acts during Darklands. Valerio, erotic actor know as ‘the king of fetish’ from Amsterdam presents two spectacular shows as wel. Apart from the erotic acts people can enjoy the Mr Leather and Mr Puppy election, the X-Awards, a Quiz show, Fetish Twister, and so much more.
The difference with shows on many other social events (for instance Folsom street fair) is that we can go all the way, there are no neighbors to mind. During the porn acts almost everything is possible, as far as the law permits of course.
MasterMarc: Hehe, if Ale is planning it, than the shows will become very sweaty. 🙂 You’re one of the events on which two elections will happen which normaly have different target audiences. Isn’t that a problem for you as organizer?
Jeroen: No on the contrary. Darklands is a melting pot of various fetishes. This is a real community event where the different subcultures of gay fetish meet each other. I believe it is important to know each other in order to be able to respect another ones fetish. A good example is Camp K9 and the Mr Puppy election, this has opened the eyes of so many hardcore fetishist who couldn’t understand all the happy joyful puppy stuff. By seeing it, meeting the people who like it, general knowledge improves.
This year we’ll be hosting a vast superhero fetish program for the first time. It’s about guys that live out the superhero fetish throughout their daily lives. They will perform bondage acts, a play-and-capture act, play terrorize-the-superhero sm games with the audience and answer to questions from the audience. Hopefully we can again bring a small subculture in the spotlight.
MasterMarc: That’s interesting. Can I register myself for the spiderman bondage workshop? 😉 It was just a joke but you are offering various workshops. What kind of workshops are on the programm and how to register for it?
Jeroen: The workshops we have each year are offered by various partners and organizations. This year we have a Bootblack workshop by International Mr Bootblack Bamm Bamm, a workshop about anal showering by Sensoa (governmental sexual health organization), a live demo class bondage, various rubber demo’s, vacuum plan, superhero play, … something for everyone’s taste.
Pre registering is not possible. Just make sure to be in time when they start to grab one of the seats. There’s no fee for attending workshops, those are included in your entrance ticket.
MasterMarc: Let’s talk about the main parties. How many people do you expect, what kind of sound will the DJs play and do you have also play areas?
Jeroen: The number of party visitors grows each year, it’s difficult to predict. I guess that on Saturday we’ll have a full house with between 2000 to 2500 men.
It’s a deep, dark but uplifting music that is suitable for both play in the darkroom as it is for dancing. You could describe it as dark techno with a fine blend of circuit music, hence the many youngsters on the dance floor (and later on the evening in the darkroom).
Behind our huge main stage, two entrances bring visitors to ‘Radiation City’, our themed darkroom. There are various areas which each it’s own decoration, lighting and play equipment. We’ve invested a great amount of time and money in the darkroom this year. We want to be trendsetting. After all, why should a darkroom at a fetish party be less more than some fences and old crappy slings? we’ve partnered up with Fetters who provide several brand new top quality sm furniture. The Boots (Antwerp fetish club) will once again present the penetrator, a huge 6-sling carousel which is crowded 5 minutes after opening of the party. For the first time at a fetish party, visitors can enjoy a private play at one of the 15 cubicles that can be closed, a rare accommodation at fetish parties.
MasterMarc: Sounds like a lot of fun and it seems to be a place to be. As organizer of such an event you have to be into kinks too. So it is time for an outing! What are you into and how what have been your first steps into the fetish world?
Jeroen: My fetishes are leather and rubber, the basics really. It started out with Batman (sounds familiar? 🙂 ) in his rubber suit on television, men in leather pants on the internet, some dating and eventually being dragged by friends to The Boots in Antwerp. That’s where my real adventure started.
I may not be the most eccentric fetish freak but I’m someone with a great admiration for people who find themselves enjoying their sexuality in a non conformist approach. A Master and his slave, that’s pure art to me. To be able to live ones fetish, brings joy to life. And being happy is what life is all about. If I’m able to make people’s live more happy because of the things they can do and learn at Leatherpride, Darklands, than I’ve achieved my goal. That’s what makes me happy.
For more information about the Leatherpride Antwerp please visit the homepage!
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