CSD in Berlin is one of the biggest gay pride event in Europe. In 2016 it happens on Saturday July 23, a month later than usual due to the football EM-cup. This year they have decided to use the motto or slogan if you will “Danke für nix”, or translated into English “Thanks for nothing”. It is a reaction to the German Bundestag (parliament) not voting same sex marriages (or gender neutral marriages) into law last fall. It will be interesting to see how this will be used under the event. To hear a speech given by a passionate and a bit angry German is still a bit unsettling, even if the subject of the talk is equal rights to all.
Well, back to the event. It starts with a parade from Kurfürstendamm (near the Berlin Zoo) and walks towards Brandenburger Gate, via Nollendorf Platz and Siegessäule. Between the Siegessäule and Brandenburger Gate is the Pride Village. With a lot of stalls, where you can buy drinks, food and other commercial products as well as visit different organisations. You will also find a couple of stages with different DJs in this area. At the Brandenburger Gate you will find a big stage with speakers, bands and entertainment. The Pride Village closes at midnight.
There is lots of people everywhere, the forest around the Pride Village (Tiergarten) becomes a crusing area, or a bigger crusing area than normal. They even set up big floodlights in the forest in the evening (at least they did last year). These lights make some parts of the forest a bit like an episode of X-files.
I recommend to check out BLF (Berlin Leather and Fetish e.V.) beer wagon. It is a natural gathering point for Leather men and other twisted guys. Maybe I see you there?
As always, play safe and mind the Jägermeister.
Every year in June the Lesbisch-schwules Stadtfest is to be found at Nollendorfplatz in Berlin. This is a large street party with a large number of stalls for different organisations, businesses and bars. The stadtfest is mainly targeting people living in Berlin, but there is a large number of people from all over the world. The area starts at Nollendorfplatz and goes all the way to Martin-Luther-Straße, both in Motzstraße and Függerstraße, and the streets between.
The different parts of the streets has different topics, like health, politics, media and so on. There are several stages with different discussions and concerts. So there is much to look at and people to talk with.
Most of the leather and fetish guys hang around the Scheune’s beer wagon, in front of the fetish stores (Gear, Mr.B. and Butcherei Lindinger) and by BLF’s stand. But we are all over the area.
Read more: http://www.stadtfest.berlin/
Lab.Oratory (aka lab or laboratory) is probably the biggest gay sex venue in Berlin. It is in the same building as Berghain, but do not have the same entrance nor queue, but we will get back to that. The building itself is an old power plant, which gives a lot to the atmosphere, combined with a industrial interior (almost post apocalyptic) and techno music it is perfect for a good time.
As Lab.Oratory has different themes every night, it is important that you check the calendar on their website. You must follow any dresscode they might have for the evening. And if it is a special fetish night be sure you know what you get in to.
How to get there
Get yourself to Ostbahnhof, it is a station on the S-bahn. Leave the station in the direction of “Erich-Steinfurt-Straße”, then go to the right till you meet a street called “Straße der Pariser Kommune”. Here you should cross the street, and follow it to the left. Walk on till you come to the street “Am Wriezener Bahnhof”, in the end of this street you will see the big building on the left hand side. As I wrote wrote earlier, there is two different queues. You want to pass the queue to berghain and walk to the left of the building. There you will find the entrance to Lab.Oratory.
Congratulation you have arrived at your destination.
What to expect when you enter.
There is an entrance fee, and you will get an number, this is the number for your bill for the evening. Then go to the changing room. Get an bag from the attendant, and change into what you want to wear for the night, if anything at all. Leave your belongings in the bag and your number is written on the bag and on you. It might be better to leave expensive stuff at home.
Now you are ready to have some fun. Go and explore the premises.
When you leave.
Get your stuff in the changing room, change back if you want. All your drinks or other beverages are written on your tab, make sure to pay this before leaving. Actually you can not leave without giving the doorkeeper the receipt and your number. You can pay this in any bar.
And as always play safe.
If there is anything important I forgot, feel free to leave a comment below.
A fetish pub on the well-known Motzstraße out of Nollendorfplatz in Berlin. It is a small pub with nice barkeepers. They do not have a strict dress code, or if they do they do not enforce it. The clientele is often from 45-50 and up, especially on weekdays.
They have a darkroom in the basement, with one part labyrinth, and one part “play area”. They show porn on several screens in the bar area, with different content on each. Under Statfest in 2015 they showed “Little Britain” since it was allowed for women to enter early in the evening.
As it is allowed to smoke inside it might be a quite thick atmosphere at times.
When it comes to drink prices, I would think they are in the middle of the range, about 3 € for a beer. But as I’m from Norway I’m used to higher prices.
It is an nice place to relax, just having a beer at the bar or a table, and have some fun.
Do you have suggestions or comments, feel free to add them below.
As always, play safe.