Brussels, hotspot for sneakers & sportswear lovers
This weekend, all sneakers & sportswear lovers will have their eyes fixed on Brussels. The Belgian Sneakers Days are back for a 3rd edition which coincides with the 5th anniversary of the association which defends this community.
#BEsneax was created on 23 February 2018. It will be exactly 5 years this Thursday for the launch of the Belgian Sneakers Days. Founder of the association, David saw his baby grow. "Until then, our community was not very visible. It's a fetish that was lived mainly in a closed circle or during a few rare events, mostly abroad." From now on, we have the feeling that it becomes very present. "It's mainly thanks to the members of the community and a general dynamic around them. Many fetish events were restrictive and are less so. It was often for leather or rubber. Obviously, it can go very well with sneakers, but those who adopted sportswear felt excluded," he explains.
David continues. "See Darklands. It was called Leather Pride and later Leather and Fetish Pride. When I went there, I felt there was a lack of recognition and consideration on people like me. I had to go to Amsterdam or Cologne to find my peers but just them, far from the spirit of a united family defended today by #WeAreFetish." It was also on the occasion of the European-scale Antwerp event that David launched #BEsneax.
4 days dedicated to Sneakers & Sportswear
The Belgian Sneakers Days is a long weekend of four days with around ten activities in the official program. It works like a Pride. It's not just for aficionados. Novices and curious people are welcome because there is a process of demystification and education behind all that too. Essentially, these are social meetings in bars in the rainbow district. "Friendliness is what our visitors expect the most. Being able to meet and chat with other people who share the same passion over a few drinks remains the winning formula.", says David, who makes it a point of honor with his team to support local community actors.
On Thursday, it starts at La Réserve. The oldest gay bar in the capital will host the anniversary party. Friday's opening drink will take place at Le Baroque before an party at Jungle Bar with a play area in the basement. Sunday begins with a meet & greet session at Spit It Out and Homo Erectus before continuing the pub crawl at Castro. The weekend ends with the closing drink at Le Belgica, which is the first bar to have hosted a #BEsneax social meeting.
Who will become Mr Sneakers Belgium 2023?
The high point of the festivities is the election of Mr Sneakers Belgium on Saturday from 16:00 at Stammbar. This year, three candidates are in the race for the title: a Brussels resident, a Walloon one and a Flemish one, representing the perfect national balance. They are judged by an international jury of personalities from the fetish scene and by the audience present on site. The candidates will have the opportunity to present themselves, to defend their personal project and to show a talent perhaps unknown to the public. Like last year, everything will be masterfully orchestrated by AlexXa Divine who, out of drag, is vice-president of the association.
This year, she will be surrounded by two guests: Miss Andy Daisy Stamm, the reigning Miss Bear Belgium, and Natalia Vonda Xetal who will come expressly from Paris where she herself hosted the election of Mr Sportswear France last December. The music will be provided by DJ Mu Delta during the afternoon and again all night long for those who want to stay there. Several thousand euros in prizes are at stake and no one will leave empty-handed. Even the audience will have the possibility of winning something since a tombola will be organized in order to finance the life of the association and the organization of the weekend.
For the main party of the weekend, #BEsneax collaborates this time with Cave who will exceptionally invest a new venue. It's at Sunset Club that it will happen. For the older ones, it may bring back good memories as the walls once housed Why Not, Box and later Nation Club. Due to limited capacity, it’s advisable to buy your ticket in advance and arrive early. Clubbers are invited to adopt the thematic dresscode of the weekend. Note that there will be a chill area and a play area among the 3 levels of the club. In addition, an after party is organized at the same place, enough to party until noon.
Brussels on the international fetish map
"Last year, we welcomed nearly 250 people from 10 different countries during the election. The first signs indicate an increase in attendance. Visitors have informed us that they come from Madrid, Paris, Nice, Cologne, Berlin, Warsaw, Rome and Istanbul, to name just a few cities. We can't wait to show them Brussels.", rejoices David. Two cultural activities are integrated into the program including an unusual visit of the capital since it is from below that it will be done. This is a guided tour of the Sewer Museum on Friday afternoon. The other activity will take place on Saturday just before the election at Homo Erectus by Spit It Out: a sneaker customization workshop led by an artist who will share her know-how. Registrations are still possible on the #BEsneax website.
Here is a loaded program as you can see. The atmosphere is beginning to be felt in the city since the partner establishments display a banner and thematic windows have appeared, such as at Spit It Out, thanks to the remarkable artistic work of Max, vice-president of the association, and his husband. In short, no need to think about what you will do this weekend. Just dig into the program.