In every major city across the world, Leather Weekends are a common occurrence for the leather community. They provide an opportunity for people to express their fetish and kink, interact with like-minded people, and reconnect and meet friends, old and new. So why not have our very own in Dublin’s fair city? Well, the Leathermen of Ireland shared the same thought, and thus conceived Dublin Leather Weekend (DLW) 2022, and boy, what a weekend it was!
For some, April 1 is a day to play a joke, but there was nothing foolish about the first day of April in 2022. It was a day when over 60 leather folk from all corners of the world including Kuwait, Washington DC, Norway, Germany, The Netherlands, England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, and of course Ireland, polished their wears and proudly set about the city streets for the inaugural Dublin Leather Weekend.
The event was the culmination of two years of virtual events, including music bingo and quizzes, run over Zoom every month by the Leathermen of Ireland group. The weekend was initially planned for late January this year, but like so many events, the spiralling Covid cases caused its postponement.
The smell of leather in Pennylane on Friday, April 1, showed that the postponement in no way dampened the enthusiasm of those attending. There was an air of excitement and joy as people who had interacted for two long years, but never met in person, embraced and caught up on news and gossip.
The itinerary was planned to include as many LGBTQ+ venues as the three days would allow. The first evening’s entertainment was in Street 66 with many leather, and a few rubber-clad attendees dancing the night away. In attendance to make sure that everyone had pristine boots were Kriszly – International Mr Bootblack, and Alaistair – Bootblack Europe.
Day two kicked off with a visit to EPIC, The Irish Immigration Museum at CHQ. The visitors enjoyed the many galleries of the museum and learned why so many people throughout history left Ireland, and about the influence, those who emigrated had on the rest of the world. That evening, there was a three-course dinner in Monto, Camden Street which included a photo booth, thanks to the fetish photographer D81 Photos. Not just a fun gimmick, the photo booth also raised €1,322 for the Irish Red Cross campaign for Ukraine.
There followed a few drinks in Pantibar, where the Lady herself popped in to welcome the leather and fetish revellers. The night then wore down at The George, in the wonderfully named Jurassic bar.
The visitors were hungry for more and the Sunday Brunch was packed in the Black-Market Bar upstairs at The Market, Fade Street. There was a free raffle including prizes of tickets for the famous Darklands fetish event in Antwerp, vouchers for the Mr Riegellio fetish site, Bookblacking supplies, and a weekend package for Beár Feilé 2023, and some cash and bottles of Jack Daniels.
The weekend concluded with the famous Drag Bingo in The George, and the visitors danced the night away and left Dublin with many great memories and the vow that DLW 2023 would be attended by an even bigger group.
The weekend was a huge success, and if the appreciative messages received by Leathermen of Ireland are anything to go by, Dublin Leather Weekend will be a permanent fixture in the LGBTQ+ calendar of events for many years to come.
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