Voting has opened for this year’s X Awards. 2015 nominees for Europe’s fetish community awards include fresh initiatives such as GEARED Ireland and Paris’ La Mine bar as well as traditional strong holders like Berlin’s Ostertreffen and SLM Copenhagen. Winners will be announced on Sunday, 15th of February at Antwerp’s Darklands festival.
Every year the X-AWARDS put people, organizations and enterprises in the spotlight, who made a valuable contribution to Europe’s fetish community over the past year. The entire European leather & fetish community is invited to vote through the X Award-website for their favourites in five different categories. Voting is possible until the 1st of February.
EVENT OF THE YEAR
GEARED Ireland – monthly meeting // Darklands // Leather Pride Belgium // Amsterdam Fetish Pride // Easter Meeting (Ostertreffen) in Berlin.
Previous winners: Folsom Europe, ECMC AGM/MLE 2013 in Italy
On Sunday, 15th of February, at 4.30pm the X Awards will be presented to the winners during an award show at Antwerp’s Darklands festival. The festival is a part of Leather Pride Belgium and both annual events made it to the shortlist this year. Another young pride event nominated is Amsterdam Fetish Pride, which will be held for the third time this year. In contrast, Berlin’s popular annual Easter Meeting (Ostertreffen), organized by Berlin’s BLF club, has made it to the shortlist as well. But the winner might not turn out to be a big event in the end. GEARED Ireland could turn out to be the outsider in this category and take away the first prize.
VENUE OF THE YEAR
Argos, Amsterdam // La Mine, Paris // Eagle Amsterdam // SLM Copenhagen // Flexo Club, Padua
Previous winners: The Boots Antwerp, Mister B Amsterdam
News of the Amsterdam Argos’ closing has led to a posthumous nomination for the world famous bar. But it gets competition from right across the Warmoesstraat as the Amsterdam Eagle is nominated as well. The Italian fetish scene has turned out to be a popular destination for international visitors in recent years and Flexo Padova is rumored to be a must visit venue. The same goes for SLM Copenhagen’s Club Venue. Run and maintained by volunteers, this place is fetish destination number one if you’re ever visiting the Danish capital. Dangerous outsider in this category is Paris’ La Mine bar – the only venue in this category without a darkroom – which is said to play a great role in the revival of Paris’ leather & fetish community.
CLUB/ORGANISATION OF THE YEAR
LeatherWest, UK //Leatherfriends Italia // SLM Copenhagen // GEARED Ireland // C.A.L.M. (Club of Amsterdam Leather Men)
Previous winners: BLUF, Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence (Germany)
Though their Bristol Leather Weekend might not have made it to the final nominations, organizing UK club LeatherWest can take pride in itself as they are nominated for club of the year. They are running against Leather Friends Italia which won an award for their excellent organization of the ECMC’s AGM and MLE contest last year and have gained quite some credit and popularity in the European fetish community since. SLM Copenhagen is nominated as a club as well, they celebrated their 40th anniversary last year. Newcomers are GEARED Ireland which is hosting a titleholder contest weekend this month and C.A.L.M. aka Club of Amsterdam Leather Men which gives dutch fetishmen and friends a new reason to get in gear with its bi-monthly Social.
DJ OF THE YEAR
Max Del Principe // Spencer Reed // Rafa Nunes // HanSom
Previous winners: Jack Chang (UK), Redtomcat (Germany)
Only four dj’s made it to the shortlist this year and none of them have been nominated before. You might have heard Max Del Principe in Amsterdam’s Club Church, Brussels’ Red & Blue or even at the Daddi club in Dublin. If you have ever visited Berlin’s Hustlaball, and haven’t heard of Spencer Reed you should be ashamed. Reed is a resident dj and part of the party’s popularity. While HanSom, known for his amazing tunes and uplifting music when it needs to be uplifting and dirty beats when it needs to be dirty, is probably a name you still have to discover. Will they stand a chance against Rafa Nunes, who not only is a master at spinning the records but owns the best fetish tattoos as well? You decide!
MAN OF THE YEAR
Andrea Z. aka Andrea Pressi // Francesco Pugliese // Tyrone Rontganger // Pieter Claeys // Jeroen van Lievenoogen
Previous winners: Eric Guttierez (IML 2011), Daniel Dumont (Secretary of the ECMC)
There is a great chance this year’s man of the year could be a former titleholder as Francesco Pugliese, Tyrone Rontganger and Pieter Claeys are nominated. While Francesco Pugliese is applauded for his ambassadorship for the European fetish community as Mr Leather Europe 2013, it’s Tyrone Rontganger’s ongoing involvement in and contributions to the Berlin fetish community that got him on the shortlist. Pieter Claeys has been nominated for a third time, and Jeroen van Lievenoogen only missed out on making the shortlist for only a year. Could this be the year he gets rewarded for giving Belgium it’s Leather Pride and Darklands festival? Or will the community elect Andrea Pressi, Leather Friends Italia’s club president who worked hard to help build out the Italian fetish community over the past few years and represented Europe on the 2014 IML jury?
Who do you think deserves an award?
The X Awards nominations are selected annually by a group of valued members from the European leather community. 2015 jury members were:
– Lars Enander, boardmember at SLM Stockholm and Secretary of the “Top of Europe” network for Northern European leather & fetish clubs
– Nigel W., BLUF webmaster
– Tyrone Rontganger, Mr Leather Berlin 2013 and German Mr Leather 2013/2014
– Nelson Sousa Da Cunha, Marketing Manager at Mister B, Leather & Rubber BV
– Francois Xavier Marais, Mr Leather Paris 2014
The X Awards Award Show will be held on Sunday, 15th of February 2015 at 4:30pm at the Darklands festival in Antwerp, Belgium. The award show precedes the Hardon party, held at the same venue. Attending the award show is free of charge though you need to have a ticket to Darklands. Get your tickets here.
Source: The LeatherHistory.eu Foundation
Picture Credits: X-Awards.com