So finally, after everyone and their mothers’ (well maybe not really their mothers) kept bragging about how amazing Crossbreed is, I decided I had enough of hearing about it so I bought a ticket and made my way to Tottenham on a cold Friday night.
Crossbreed is the new kid in town, or I should say the new kid in the scene. Promising to be an accessible and welcoming night to anyone seeking freedom of expression and hedonism. Let me just copy/paste their manifesto right here so you get the picture:
Crossbreed was born through a realisation that almost everything good in this world materialises through collaboration. In a society where we are expected to be able to know and do everything for ourselves, we want to harness our creativity and play together. Our music is made collaboratively, and our parties encourage freedom of expression and hedonism. We believe in breaking down social constructs and stigmas. We welcome open minds and respect for others. We have no tolerance of prejudice or bigotry of any kind. Consent is not just a ‘word’, it is our right. Here, we are all equal, we welcome queerness, individuality, kink, sex positivity, love and kindness.
Crossbreed is a platform for positive human interactions
So on paper this seems like the exact thing the scene needs right now, a safe place where people can dance, party and play with like-minded people without fear of judgement. So, how was it?
Well, let me start with the bad first.
- Getting into the Club
I arrived at the club with my OH by 11.30 and the queue was about 40-50 people deep, so not too long to my standards. However, it took almost an hour to get in. There were plenty of security people available, yelling at everyone that ID was essential, but then only one person was actually checking bags and phones (phones had to have their cameras covered for obvious reasons). I guess once they realised the queue was only getting longer, they had more people doing the checks but it was a real mess – I had my bag checked twice and my phone checked 3 times, but funnily enough no one checked my ID! An hour to get into a club when the queue is not that long is not a good way to start.
2. Dress Code
According to their website, their dress code is as follows:
Our party has a dress code, but the only real requirement is that you make an effort. If you turn up in jeans and a t-shirt you will not gain entry, and we will not refund your ticket. We like fetwear, PVC, leather, jewellery, drag, nipples, boots, colour, latex, naked skin, bondage, nylon, sportswear, metal and lace but mostly we just like expression. Introverts and extroverts are welcome alike, we just ask you step out of the realm of social conformity. Strictly no fancy dress. If you need further inspiration follow us on instagram.
My OH was on full mode trad goth; so leather trousers, leather waistcoat, victorian shirt and about half a kilo of silver jewellery. Oh and full face of make up a la Marilyn Manson. I was wearing a pvc see-through number. I got in without issues (because sadly tits = entry at these places) but he was told he had to go bare chested or else he would not get in. We agreed we would do so but we of course didn’t, because forced nudity is against what we believe, and frankly speaking, should be against theirs. Besides, how much more alternative can we get really? When we caught up with a few friends inside, they were also told to remove their tops (which they did) even though they were head to to in latex. I mean, come on!! You don’t accept men dressed in leather/latex but permit Adidas running shorts? That just sounds like people who don’t understand the meaning of the word fetish.
I love a busy place – I truly do. The energy of seeing hundreds of people dancing together is electrifying but this was way too busy, even to my standards. Even though they had bought additional temporary toilets, queuing for a toilet was a 30 min affair. At one point you could not enter the dance floor or move from your location at all. I understand you need to make money out of these events, but you may as well sell 100 less tickets and have two events a month (or a bigger venue perhaps?) .
But not everything was bad – oh no, there were also some good points:
Last week’s event took place at The Cause in Tottenham which is new venue for me, and it was a great space. The location is perfect as its near a 24hr tube, and the distribution of the rooms worked really well. It has an industrial feel, which is perfect for these types of events. I do hope they get to keep using this location as it is fab.
2. The Wellness Sanctuary
The above was a room situated on the top floor that allowed people to decompress and have a moment of peace. I really like this idea and I do think more fetish clubs should create spaces like this (if space allows) They were serving tea and biscuits and you could wrap in a blanket and have a moment to yourself. It is a shame that Crossbreed is more sex-orientated than fetish, as this room is perfect for aftercare if you ask me.
3. The Vibe
If I was to say what I liked most about Crossbreed was the overall vibe. They are part of the new wave in fetish, bringing a fresh outlook to fetish through music and hedonism. I think this is the perfect place for those who like exhibitionist (in sex) and for those who may be new to the scene. There were fetish furniture available but no space for real play so those were used to have sex.
I must admit that Crossbreed reminds me a lot of to Verboten as they also take a very Berlin-esque approach to their music and vibe. They claim to be less pretentious (as they don’t have a membership requirement) but I felt the crowd was just ‘too normal’ for me. This was a normal rave with sex attached to it.
And this leads to my last thought on the topic. I love the fact that the internet is making fetish more accessible. I also love that people are organising and bringing their own events to life, but amidst of all this, I am afraid that the scene is becoming boring and too predictable. People having sex on a latex bed is not exciting, I have seen that too many times! But I remember once at Subversion a threesome involving violet wands and genital piercings and let me tell ya, that was exciting! ……OMG THAT IS IT!! Could someone people bring Subversion back and teach these kids what fetish actually is?
Anyways, I will dedicate an entire post about the decline of excitement and originality in the scene, but for now I would say that Crossbreed is not too bad. Verboten is still better in my opinion, but both of them are more similar than not. If you are into sex parties and decent techno, then Crossbreed will be for you. If you are into fetish then keep searching with me!