With the close of the 2014 Brisbane Leather Festival, I would like to take this opportunity to reflect on the many members of the community whose generous contributions enabled the events and festivities to occur.
I begin with my sincere thanks to the Brisbane Leather Pride Committee. In undertaking this labour of love, Lucero, Miss Gen, Foxy, Hazyinseptember, AlexPierce,
Marionette_Kitty, Labrys, and Red Bear have worked tirelessly for many months, each contributing their knowledge, energy, vision, skills, passion, and care so that we might bring the festival we envisioned into being.
Given our concept for the Festival, BLP benefitted considerably from the immense number of volunteers and participants involved. It is a testament to the accord and unanimity of the kink and BDSM community that there was such a desire to support this endeavour to come together to participate in such a diversity of activities dedicated to our lifestyle.
When the Committee considered how to introduce our “future of kink” festival theme to the public, we knew that we required edgy and evocative images. All of It Studios generously collaborated with BLP to create remarkable photos of our incredible models Maximus, Steven “Rushy” Rushbrook, Sym Puskaric, Harley, and Foxy, who brought their wonderful ideas, costumes, and props to the shoot.
We were moved by the willingness of many local businesses to display our flyers. By helping us to share the festival with their patrons, Everything Adult, The Den, Adult Emporium, Naughty Adult Shop, Valley Adult Shop, Spunk’d, Black Rabbit, VooDoo Lulu, QuAC, Fetish Empire, EGHQ, and Hellfire offered us their valuable support.
One of the largest undertakings during this year’s festival was the hugely successful Fetish and Alternative Market, showcasing local suppliers, producers, and community groups. With the participation of exhibitors Black Rabbit, Lady Brass Steampunk Accessories, MissEmJay, Jade Rope, Patrick Ford Design, BootCo, Spunk’d, Katt Johnston, Bad Wolf Leather, F.R.E.D.D.Y. Fashions, JWH Leather, Allofit Studios, Peer Rope, Miss Bares Wares, BootCo, Foxy Downunder, and Kraken, it was an event with something for everyone. Featuring fashion shows, demonstrations, opportunities for community engagement, and an incredible diversity of toys, accessories, and clothing, this inclusive event was a fitting way to begin the festival.
This year, the aim of our workshop programme was to provide classes on a diversity of BDSM topics primarily purposed to the introductory level, with our intent being to advance the focus of workshops in the future. With our remarkable educators Rastas, bv_, the_fiend, subwayne, notexcessive, Labrys, P_Rawwrrr, muted, Bleeder, Miss Gen, Georgia -chewtoy-, Tarasana, Lucero, Fuggly Ropes, Jonathan Waters, Satet, Dominus DJ, and Notjustakitty. These remarkable educators reviewed the theory, practical skill, and hands-on practice of their favourite kinks, such as BDSM Safety, impact play, caning, needle play, and pet play.
In addition to our workshops, BLP envisioned opportunities in which the community could explore topics that are of particularly relevant at this time. Facilitated by the_fiend and mediated by Kinkaye, our knowledgeable panelists Subwayne, blind pilot, bv_, warriorpoet, TheBigBadWolf, Hypnerotomachia, Tink_A_Belle, and Shimon kindly shared their experiences, ideas, and suggestions for ways to support community development.
With Grace Art Events, Hellfire, Black Rabbit, Spunk’d, and the Carpathian Magistratus Vampyre Society collaborating with us and contributing their events to our festival listing, it has been very affirming to see the the diversity of opportunities through which we can celebrate our Leather lifestyles.
In its second year, the Fetish Fridays trilogy was another community favourite. Attendees saw a range of performances including rope suspension, burlesque, wax play, sharps, drag, electro play, water sports, and pet play. Each was a unique act depicting a range of fetishes and alternative performance styles. BLP would like to thank each of our performers Dolly de Ville, Lucero & Nix_, Ruby Roulette, Magnolia Knife, Redbear & _Namaiki_, Master Pierre & Pup Jolt, Miss Gen and Georgia, Labrys & Charlie, Rastas & Marionette Kitty, the_fiend, Kat Johnston & Friday, Margo, Blue Phoenix, Tricky Boombang and HazyinSeptember & RocketPup. Our wonderful stage crew Rex and Bear kept the the shows running smoothly, photographer Stuart Hirth kindly documented the performances, and Kat Johnson’s Bunnies Unbound and AllofIt Studios’s Your Kink My Kink exhibitions added to Fetish Fridays I and Fetish Fridays III events. We would also like to thank our volunteers, Lifesastory, Kat Johnston, the_fiend, Kobi Cooke, and Tarasana who ensured that our audience members were well cared for, holding drinks in their hands, and carrying raffle tickets in their pockets.
We are immensely thankful to the generous sponsors of the Fetish Fridays raffles. BootCo., EGHQ, Spunk’d, Black Rabbit Premium Leather, Brisbane, Hellfire Club, Fetish Empire, Kat Johnson, and Jade Rope were remarkably generous. Their donations were an investment in the community, allowing us to raise the lion’s share of funds comprising our donation to QuAC’s Gender Clinic.
We could not have held the festival without receiving access to several venues throughout Queensland. We would like to thank the Queensland Aids Council, Black Rabbit Premium Leather, Fetish Empire, EGHQ, Number 29, and the New Globe Theatre for providing homes for our festival, for being welcoming hosts, and in some cases creating facilities in order to support our events. This included building a stage, installing lights, rigging suspension points, and clearing out additional space for attendees.
Lastly, BLP owes an immense debt of gratitude to BootCo. for their ongoing support. As the originators of the Brisbane Leather Pride Festival, they have entrusted us with the responsibility of furthering the Brisbane Leather Pride Festival. This year, BootCo. sponsored BLP’s presence at the Brisbane Pride Fair Day, enabling us to participate the day and celebrate together as partners in kink.
The Brisbane Leather Pride Committee is deeply humbled by the warm welcome we have received in our first year, by our successes and missteps, and by the willingness for collaboration that answered our call for festival events and participants. This is a wonderfully vibrant community with a diversity of interests and skills, hungry to engage with each other and always up for a great party. There is room for all of us, and now is an exciting time to be part of Queensland’s scene. As we look forward toward 2015, we hope to build on these partnerships and to better serve the community.
Together in Pride,