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At the end of May 2004, Berlin was offered a spot amongst the European mega fetish balls. Just like the London event the organisers, Xklusiv Events in Hannover split up the weekend into three days of fetish fun. It’s no secret Germany is one of the homes of fetishism and was missing a large international event for some time.

The recently reopened Big Eden club on Kurfürstendamm welcomed early partygoers at the official Pre Party on Friday. They could relax and get into the weekend mood, entertained by DJs, live performances and floor shows. Highlight of the evening was Dominus Rick. Not a show for everyone, since he specialises in hardcore needle play. Lots of heat from a burner, needles, forming a crown of thorns and blood seeping out of numerous locations, it certainly wasn’t for the fair of hearted.

Those who still needed some new stuff to wear, could shop at Saturday’s Fetish Fair. Beautiful location, in an old warehouse. I heard a few comments on the limited number of stalls, but this is after all the first year Berlin is organizing this event. I certainly wasn’t disappointed about the turnout. There is room for growth, a fact that in its own shows that organising a fetish fair was a good idea.

The downstairs area was decorated as an art exhibition, including pictures of German fetish artists and stars. This was also an excellent occasion to see some of the international stars performing at the ball the next day, like Emily Marilyn and Kumi.

After the fetish fair, a select group of people was invited for dinner in the restaurant adjacent of the expo. The guests were treated to two stage shows, the first a burlesque performance by Lucifire and Esme, the second a fetish extravaganza by Emily Marilyn. All guests looked happy, well fed and entertained. It’s not every day you go to dinner dressed in your favourite catsuit… The Fetish party that followed the dinner was the odd on out. Unfortunately the turnout for this event was not a big success. According to me, three parties in three days is a bit overambitious.

Third day, most important day, where the German Fetish Ball had to prove it deserves a place in the European party scene. I certainly was impressed by the location. It not only offered enough room for a grand audience, it was also divided into five different party rooms, including a play room for couples. Each room offered its own atmosphere and music. The main hall was also the location for all fashion shows, hosted by Lucifire.

Fashion was brought by international designers like BodyCult, Torture Garden and HW Design. Most did not just present their clothes “catwalk style”, but told a little story. HW Design even staged a fetish wedding. This takes up more time, but also entertains the crowd. The German models were accompanied by international celebs, like Darenzia, Kumi and Emily.

After the fashion shows, it was time for some fetish action on stage, highlighted by a fire performance by Lucifire and a show by Emily Marilyn, dominated into submission by Kumi and Esme.

In conclusion, does the German Fetish Ball stand a chance for survival? In my view it certainly does. There might be some sharp edges that need shaving off., but it’s clear Xklusiv Events did not venture into this without any background. Of course there is heavy competition from the other mega-events, like London and Amsterdam. But Berlin has proven that it can draw an international crowd. I look forward to next year’s program!