The 2014 German Fetish Ball took place in a lovely setting on the banks of the River Spee in Berlin. The crowd was not massive, under a thousand people, but it was, as you might expect, very high quality, with a hefty proportion of out of town visitors.
First impressions of the venue were stunning, with seating in a moored boat on the river and a bar outside on a terrace at the water’s edge. The interior was essentially one vast hangar-like space dominated by a stage and catwalk with a small side dance floor and a one small swingery rather than torturey play-area on a mezzanine. Initially all seemed promising, with the space just right for the numbers and the cool night air making the main club area very pleasant. Unfortunately that only lasted for a short initial period before vast shutters were brought down presumably to keep the noise down for our neighbours.
In the absence of any form of cooling system whatsoever, the heat slowly began to build up to barely sufferable levels for full-enclosure rubberists and camera equipment alike. This was compounded by a decision to have the Fetish Awards presentations and all the shows lumped together in one continuous marathon, without any breaks for over two hours, rather than spread through the night in several spaced performances as Torture Garden would have done it.
Amazingly, many of the interior bars were unstaffed for this whole period, meaning anyone who wanted a cooling drink had to fight their way out onto the terrace through a small door to queue up at a very overcrowded slow bar, never knowing what they were missing in the meantime. In contrast the outside riverside areas of the club remained an idyllic space, if somewhat overcrowded for a fairly small area. Nonetheless, the whole multi-event weekend of parties were most enjoyable, and lived up to expectations as a top international fetish destination.