The decision to move the German Fetish Ball Weekend from Berlin to Hamburg in 2010 may not have seemed like the best news for GFB’s Berlin partners FetishGuerilla, hosts of its Revolution and Kinky Cocktails nights.
But it actually encouraged FetishGuerilla founders Martin Pelzer and Anna Phobia to take a fresh look at just what they had with the FG brand, and where they could take it in the future.
They decided — rightly, we think —that a key element of FG’s identity was that it was essentially a Berlin phenomenon, and that its future lay in developing its activities on its home turf rather than in following the GFB to its new location.
After all, FG has emerged in a city that is especially nurturing to nightlife — a city that, with a relaxed view of clubbing that sees all-night-thru-next-day events as quite normal (and legal), is now widely regarded (outside fetish) as the clubbing capital of Europe.
Added to this, FG has developed a “special relationship” with KitKat, the famous Berlin pansexual/fetish club which, in its new venue, has accommodated all FG’s recent Revolution parties — both its solo events and its NuiNight partnerships with NuiNoize.
The most recent NuiNight vs FetishGuerilla Revolution party, at KitKat on Friday October 9, pulled a respectable-sized crowd for a fetish-friendly night of hot DJs (Mitja Prinz, Shap, DramaNui and Olivier Mauduy), performances by Slime Masturbation and Ginger Synne, and an exhibition of erotic self-portraits by Berlin photographer Minon.
Check out our gallery on the right — courtesy of Berlin lensman Gili Shani — for a fine flavour of the proceedings.
The style of these events is a big clue to FetishGuerilla’s unique appeal. FG places greater emphasis on music content than fetish clubs typically do, and as such it manages to straddle fetish and mainstream clubbing culture more effectively than many.
Now FG is hoping to build on that very strength with the launch on December 11 of a regular bi-monthly night at KitKat, running under the name FetishGuerilla Aufstand! (Aufstand meaning uprising, rebellion or revolt).
“The plan is to create a night different from the usual KitKat nights, especially regarding music,” Martin tells us. “So we’ve booked DJs who play minimal electro and have mostly never played at KitKat before. We have no idea if that will work, but we will see.”
The December line-up includes Benno Blome of Sender Records, a regular at Bar25 and ArenaClub, two of the Berlin’s best clubs; and Play! of Confidence Records, whose gig credits include both KK and FG nights such as last year’s Bohème-Noir pre-party.
Also on the bill is Michael Placke of Reclaim the Sparkasse and Exquisite Berlin fame. Martin explains:
“Michael and his girlfriend have created some quite funny events here in Berlin. They began by squatting the Sparkasse bank at night, and playing right there in the bank’s ATM halls.
“It started with only a few people, but now when they play at the Sparkasse or some other public place, they always get more than 400 people there.
“It's really fun — there's always police who stop them DJing — so I thought he would fit quite well into our concept!”
These new bi-monthly FG nights are probably best described as “fetish friendly” — with a “no costume, no candy” dresscode that doesn’t demand latex or uniforms but is intended to encourage people to dress up “even if it’s in a bunny outfit”.
Live performances will likely be in the area of body mod, which goes down well with the FG crowd. IndiePearl and Plastique iV have just been booked for the launch night, for a show involving flesh hooks and the like.
So if you think that on December 11, a fetish-friendly gathering in Berlin might be preferable to attending Dèmonia in Paris or the Rubber Ball house party in London, you now have the perfect excuse.
Full details of FetishGuerilla Aufstand! can be found on the FG website — see info panel, right, for link.
If you think a fetish-friendly party in Berlin is preferable to Dèmonia in Paris or the Rubber Ball in London, you now have the perfect excuse