Thursday, October 4, 2018

Archive: Fall 2018

Important Notes from The Metro Underground:

Social Media: we’re on it! 
Photo Galleries: we’re getting caught up!  Pics – yes, we hear you & offer our deepest apologies! Life issues first got us behind on posting galleries. We even got caught up, but our computer crashed w/ files that were not backed up (actually, our back up was corrupted – we usually do a triple back-up had not yet done so). Consequently, we had to start rebuilding multiple galleries from scratch - an arduous process. And yes, I almost cried. But we’re back on it & finally getting caught up!


The Metro Underground:  moving in a new direction - For over a decade The Metro Underground has carried TWO core principles: First, to serve as a primary gateway to the 'Full' spectrum of the alternative, adult, & underground scene (for DC, Baltimore, & the Mid-Atlantic region). But ALSO to serve as a forum for bridges to be built from one culture to another & from one group to the next. Until now, we’ve focused on the first. It’s time to change the dialogue & focus more on the second.
Our nation has been bathed in a rhetoric of division & hate for several years now. Indeed, we're seeing the saturation of this in almost every circle & the scene is no exception. More & more the fabric of that which once brought us together is now tearing us apart. Perhaps we can’t change the tide for everyone out there, but we CAN change the conversation w/in ourselves. We can choose to find love & community w/in the circles we engage, & we can create a sense of love & light for all of those around.
  • This year The DC Fetish Ball is dedicated to “Tough Love” - It’s easy to tear something down & fill your heart w/ hate or vengeance for the world around you. To choose love is a much more difficult path. But it’s possible, & only YOU can change the dialogue. So for yourself, for the sake of the scene, & indeed for the world in which we live - do not bow to the message of hate & division that surrounds us. Rather, carry love in your heart & let it shine to all of those around you. Only then will we find the path for a new & better tomorrow.
  • DC eXotica & The Metro Spring Formal are no more – never say never, but as it stands we will no longer be hosting The Metro Spring Formal or DC eXotica. We’re sorry for the abrupt shift. But if you missed the last one, well you missed the last one. As stated, we’re moving in a new direction & the nature of our efforts will reflect this. For now, we plan to keep The DC Fetish Ball & Underground Parties alive, but we’ve decided to shut down DC eXotica & the Spring Formal.
  • We’re possibly working on The Fashion Fantasy Expose – one new event we’re looking into will be the Fashion Fantasy Expose. Focused on great music, top talent, fashion, & a night of high energy opulence, we’ll still offer an awesome affair that you’ve come to expect from The Metro Underground, but we’ll be moving our efforts in a more mainstream direction. So there will be no more play-space, fetish elements, or overt adult themes (the only aspect we may keep is Shibari).
  • More to come so please stay tuned!
We're Looking for Private Venues!  We're currently seeking private accomodations for future Underground Parties. Please let us know should you have any leads – thank you!

News & Notes from Around the Scene: 

DC 80’s Night celebrates 25 Years (!) – DC’s longest running dance night will celebrate its silver anniversary at the Black Cat (Sat Oct 6th)! Hosted by The Angel & still going strong after 2-1/2 decades, this is an incredible accomplishment for any endeavor. But it’s almost unheard of in event production! We salute awesomeness as DC 80’s night moves forward in the coming years. See Facebook.

Nightmare Festival moves to 4 Quarters Farm – After last year’s shake up at Dreamscape, the June festival was abandoned & apparently further relations between Badass Raves & Ramblewood were severed. Moving over to 4 Quarters Farm (home to BigDub, their largest festival of the year), Nightmare will persevere & move forward. Representing one of the area’s largest festivals for fall, it offers a rave format music festival while celebrating the true spirit of Halloween. For more info see Links.

Baltimore Beyond is Back (!) – Serving as a gateway group for the kink & BDSM scene, one of Baltimore’s most beloved happy hours is back in action! Representing an awesome group in a welcoming environment, they now meet each month at [venue] for one of the area’s best social gatherings. If you’re in the Baltimore area, then be sure to check them out! See Fetlife Group for further updates.

Abberant DC is in Flux – Fairly new to the scene, Abberant initially was created as a true TNG organization specific to the under-30 crowd for the local kink scene. Low numbers soon led them to a conversion of all ages. Hosting happy hours in NW DC & a mid-week play night at The Crucible, there was recently a shake up as one of their core directors was called out on multiple consent violations. With backing from its leadership, they since gone on hiatus pending decisions for possible adjustments. A recent town hall was held to determine the viability of a new & better direction, but a new course is uncertain. You can follow further developments Here.  

TABU Launches TABU Travel – Baltimore’s most recognized & only ‘on-premise’ club for the Swinger Lifestyle has now launched a new initiative w/ Tabu Travel. Hosting annual trips to such destinations as Hedonism & more, this creates a new dimension for the social circles of the area. Please check it out: Tabu Travel.

Baltimore Eagle is Restructuring – After its recent closing by previous ownership (see announcement Here), new ownership has seen the opportunity such a venue carries & has not only stepped in to take over the old space but has purchased the adjacent buildings to expand operations. They are currently renovating the entire site & are planning a grand re-launch soon.

DC MixTape bids farewell w/ their 10th Anniversary – With one of the core promoters now having moved to India, one of DC’s most eclectic & beloved dance nights for the LGBYQ community has offered a heartfelt farewell. Having recently celebrated their 10th anniversary, they also made this a sendoff good bye. We wish them well in the next phase of life & thank them for 10 years of memorable achievement. See Mixtape.

Archive Spring 2018

The Impact of SESTA/FOSTA – As our trumptopian world offers up an endless parade of weekly chaos, slipping under the radar was the recent passing of the SESTA & FOSTA Acts. While on the surface such initiatives carry the spirit of something truly good & strives to put an end to sex trafficking, as law they are poorly written, FAR too vague, & carry deep ramifications for the entire scene & how we interact online. The fallout is already being felt as various online providers have scrambled to contemplate just what the new laws will mean. People affected are dating sites, hook up sites, anything listing legitimate escorts or adult services, as well as Pro-Domme’s, & an array of others in the alternative culture. Services such as Craigslist & others have already cancelled services for online personals & the reaction is already being felt on mainstream forums across the net. It’s no secret that big brother has been watching, but his impact just became very real for all of us.  See related articles here...

Dreamscape is No More – One of the East Coast’s largest & most loved rave-format music festivals is no more. Hosted at Ramblewood in Darlington, MD, last June saw the close of a giant. The official word is that its promoters are shifting gears to focus on their other two festivals & club nights. But like any major event that comes to a sudden & unexpected end, there’s always more to the story than what you read. Unfortunately, it’s not our place nor intention to comment on such issues. What matters is that one of the greats is gone & there exists a deep void that has yet to be filled. See Link for official statement.

The Steampunk Worlds Fair is Cancelled – Collapsing under the weight of deep scandal & continued allegations of sexual misconduct, Jeff Mach Productions lost full support of his base, & all of his events have fallen as a result (including Wicked Fair & The Geeky Kink Event). As the largest steampunk festival in the eastern U.S. & one of the largest in the world, a savior organization tried to initially step in & carry the banner forward. But we believe the reality of what it takes to create such an event was a bit too much. Consequently, they pulled out & there was no one left to take over the magnitude of such efforts. As a result, the World’s Fair & all Jeff Mach events have been cancelled. There are no current plans for a future resurrection.  See Link for public announcement.

Transformus Rises from the Ashes! – As other giants fall, like the Phoenix from the flames one has risen from the ashes! Indeed, Transformus is back! After a temporary hiatus, they now have a new location offering more space & better accommodations to fit the size of its crowds, Indeed, one of the East Coast’s most revered burns is a welcome return.Tickets are currently on sale & available. Please see Mainn Site for details.

Larry Harvey (Burning Man Founder) January, 11, 1948 - April 28, 2018 - Larry Harvey, the founder of Burning Man & main force behind its core principals has recently passed away. Most people grieve such loss, but I take a different perspective…  What an incredible life to have created something that would have such an impact on so many. My god, what an amazing legacy to leave behind!  THAT is a life well lived!  Rest well good sir, you have brought a sense of love & light to the world that burns bright & carries forward forever more. We honor your memory, your life, & the impact it’s had on so many throughout the world. Please See: Journal Memoriam.

Drac’s Ball Celebrates 20 Years! - On April 14th, Drac’s Ball will host its 20th Anniversary in Philadelphia. We believe this is the longest running Goth Night on the east coast & possibly the nation. The event is already sold out & plans are set. Twenty years in the scene is an amazing accomplishment. So we salute such an awesome achievement!

Tribalcon Draws to a Close – Offering one of the nation’s most beloved gatherings for Tribal & Fusion Dance, this past February Tribalcon celebrated its final installment. This effectively brought the end of an era to a close for a great many. In short, the rising expenses of travel, lodging, & venue created an inequitable weight on its promoters. The economies of the festival just could not support the rising cost for such an endeavor. So the core promoters have wisely decided to refocus efforts into a single teacher model for those in the community. We wish them well w/ their new endeavors & hope for a fulfilling future as they now venture forward.  See Facebook for follow-up.

Spoutwood Faerie Fest Hosts Its Last – Spoutwood Farm has announced that this May will probably be the last Faerie Festival for the venue. Never say never, as the owners ‘may’ move the beloved festival to a new location (ha! I see what you did there). But as it stands, the plan is to simply let it draw to a close.  Growth is good, but the festival has grown so much that its now stressing the farm, surrounding township, parking, & staff. So, after 27 years of making magic come to life, 2018 will host the last May Day Fairie Festival at Spoutwood Farm.  See Link for announcement.

Klimaxxx Takes a Break while Swinky Fills the Void – As one of the area’s more active swinger nights, the founders of Klimaxxx have decided to step away & take a break. This is a great loss for the scene & we thank them for all their effort to create such a great night. However, in its wake one of their core promoters has stepped forward & created “Swinky” to help fill the void. The inaugural event offered a great night which we hope will build to an amazing future. We wish them luck as the weeks & months progress.

TABU Launches TABU Travel – Baltimore’s most recognized & only ‘on-premise’ club for the Swinger Lifestyle has now launched a new initiative w/ Tabu Travel. Hosting annual trips to such destinations as Hedonism & more, this creates a new dimension for the social circles of the area. Please check it out: Tabu Travel.

Mixtape Draws to a Close – Traditionally hosted at the 9:30 Club, Mixtape offers one of the area’s best & longest running dance nights for the gay communities. Unfortunately, the promoters are moving on with other endeavors. So this brings an amazing night to a close. We wish them well & hope for a bright future in all they hope to be. Their final nights will be Gay Pride at the 9:30 Club on June 9th, & a final farewell at the U Street Music Hall on Sept. 8th. See Facebook.

Code DC is now Hummer – DC’s all male night for those into gear, leather, & more has passed the baton. As Code DC comes to an end, Hummer has risen in it’s place. Hosted 1st & 3rd Saturdays at the Glory Hole (just off of New York Ave), they offer a very similar night under new leadership.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Archive 2017

First a Few Notes from The Metro Underground:  
 

The DC Fetish Ball Celebrates Its 10th Anniversary (DCFetishBall.com):  A decade in the making, the area’s most respected & anticipated event returns to Ultra Bar on Sunday, Oct.8th (Columbus Day Weekend). Due to its increasing popularity, this year we’ll be limiting attendance & will absolutely sell out! So don’t wait - tickets go on sale immediately after Labor Day.

DC eXotica Returns (MetroEvents): After an unbelievably successful debut, DC eXotica returns to the district for a second year. Planned for Sunday, Jan 14th (MLK Weekend) we’ll be back at Ultra Bar for a night of decadence & beauty you won’t want to miss.  

We’re Phasing Out Our Facebook Page (Facebook): Due to the new policies of Facebook, The Metro Page has become almost irrelevant. As a result, we’re now focusing almost exclusively on our Facebook Group & Fetlife for social media.  So: FB Page = to => Facebook Group

Work is Moving Forward on Galleries & Pics (Galleries): We’re currently in the process of posting full galleries & top pics from past events. These include the Final Black & White Ball, Aiyoku & Steampunk Apocalypse (Spring Fromal), DC Fetish Ball for 2015 & 2016, as well as DC eXotica. We’re terribly behind & apologize for the wait. However, we hope to be caught up by the next Fetish Ball in October.  Thank you for your patience.

News from Around the Scene:  

Fall PDF is Cancelled (Announcement-Link): Due to struggles with its current location, the Fall event for Playa Del Fuego has been cancelled. In its place, a new burn has been organized called Constellation. It’s currently uncertain if this will affect the spring PDF or if they’ll just host it at the new location. Indeed, the search for a proper venue is an ongoing struggle for most. Transformus has fallen to the same circumstances & is no more. But the organizers of PDF seem committed & should find good ground upon which to build soon.

Cranberries Tour Cancelled (Announcement-Link): Unfortunately, The Cranberries North American & European Tour has recently been cancelled. The only east coast show still in progress will be New York. According to the band’s official statement, Doloris O’Riordan has been suffering from extreme back problems. On the advisement of her doctors she was forced to drop out & the band cancelled the tour. See link for full statement & possibilities for a future return.

Mixtape Goes Quarterly (Faebook): One of the 9:30 Club’s most beloved nights has shifted to a quarterly format. Celebrating 9 years in the scene, the burden started to wear on its promoters. Although they considered shutting it down, they still loved the night & all it brought to the scene. So the perfect compromise was to shift formats to a quarterly schedule & move forward while creating a better balance within themselves. The new schedule will include nights for September, December, March, and June.

Recent Shake-Up on Fetlife (Announcement-Link): For those who are unaware, Fetlife has recently suffered a major shake-up. Several groups & elements of certain profiles were pulled. This was due to a recent governmental shakedown under the initiative of “Operation Chokepoint” (worthy of note that this law was recently taken off the books). The master minds behind Fetlife have made full disclosure of the problems involved & have worked diligently to maintain full integrity of the site. See link for more.

The Crucible is Now Open & Active (The-Crucible): In case you’ve been living under a rock, DC’s one & only playspace for the kink-set is once again open! After a 2 year hiatus, Frazier & his aligned powers have been working diligently to fight a mountain of red tape to get the doors open. Indeed, the new space is a beautiful venue & marked improvement over the previous 2 locations. They’re quickly gaining speed & now have a very active calendar. So be sure to check it out & throw some support for the new initiative. And congrats on the tenacity to see it through!   

CCPS 2nd Attempt has Left Them Indefinitely on Hiatus (CCPS): After significant financial difficulties drove the Charm City Play Space from its previous location, a second attempt was made at a new location just north of Baltimore. Unfortunately, things have not come together. This coupled health issues facing the owner has left them indefinitely closed until further notice.  

Big Changes to DC TNG (Announcement-Link):  As of late, there’s been a bit of a shake-up w/ DC TNG. The end result of which is a step in a positive direction. For sometime now, DC TNG has been open to all w/out the usual requirements of a 35 & under group that is usually seen. So ‘The Next Generation’ is spinning off into its own group while the current group is restructuring under Hellfire DC. This new group will serve as a fundamental ‘gateway’ group w/out the age restriction, & will carry forward w/ its current happy hour & monthly play party. We wish them well as they rebrand & restructure the new initiative!

Update for Indecent Enterprise (Announcement-Link): Having lost 2 of its core venues, Indecent Enterprise is temporarily scaling back its once active calendar to take a bit of hiatus while it regroups. This does not mean it’s inactive. Currently they do plan to maintain their presence at regional camps while they sort out issues with a new space.

Diabolique Ball is on Hiatus (Diabolique): But alas, it appears that a recent shake up w/ one of Philly’s most beloved events has potentially put them on temporary hiatus. Please keep an eye out for future announcements.

Skin Two Magazine is Refocusing Efforts (SkinTwo):  With a worldwide following, Skin Two has stood for years as the most respected magazine for the fetish & latex subculture. But in an era of social media & dwindling returns on print media, they too have felt the reality of industry economics. As a result, they are now focused almost entirely on their clothing line & have phased out the magazine almost completely. To which, they do not stand alone. Gorgeous Freaks Magazine has followed suit & is currently directing almost all activities toward their clothing line as well. We respect their effort over the years, wish them well in their new endeavor, & lament the passing of a giant.

Our Love & Best Wishes for Richard & Vicki of Tabu (Facebook): For those who may be unaware, Richard (co-owner of Tabu Social Club w/ his wife Vicki) recently collapsed a lung & has been having a difficult time with his health. Although we expect a full recovery, our heart goes out to Vicky & Rick wishing him a speedy recovery, good health, & prosperous days ahead. Please send some love if you’re able, they could use some good vibes through this difficult time.

New Club Comes to Hyattsville (ClubShadow): DC has a new on-premise brick-&-mortar swinger club! To date, we have not been to any of their functions. But for those groups who may be looking for a solid venue, you may want to check them out.

Antibiotic Resistant Gonorrhea has Hit the U.S. (article): Numbers are still miniscule, but it must be noted that a new strain of antibiotic resistant gonorrhea has recently encroached on the U.S. We don’t want to spread unwarranted fear, but this is a significant development worthy of note.

The DC Eagle is Alive & Well (DCEagle): Also filed under the heading of “in case you’ve been living under a rock” - DC’s one & only gay male leather club has returned to form. The new venue offers a vast space w/ secured parking & an active schedule of events.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Archive 2016

First, a Few Notes for The Metro Underground: 

HUGE changes are coming to TheMetroUnderground.com => Due to required upgrades, we're currently in the process of rebuilding our entire site (& I can't begin to express what a pain this is). So by year's end we will have completed a full overhaul of the structure, design, & all core elements. But aside from a new look & feel, once done we'll also be more mobile friendly & aligned to tech-platforms across the spectrum. So please bear with us as our general maintenance may lag behind a bit while we make way for the new build-out. 

DC's Greatest New Night => Last year we hosted The Fourth & Final Black & White Ball. It's been a great event, but the timing was such that it came at the height of my busy season. Changes were needed, so we had to let this one go. However, from its ashes one of DC's greatest new traditions will soon rise to take its place…  

Coming this January over MLK Weekend, The Metro Underground will present DC eXotica! Hosted at UltraBar, it's our intention to include all core elements of the Fetish Ball except the fashion show. But fear not! We'll be replacing fashion with some incredible demos & stage performance to carry throughout the night. So please stay tuned - details are coming soon!


Underground Parties => The Metro Underground hosts some of the region's most anticipated & respected events. But we now offer a new dimension through Underground Parties as well. Focused as more exclusive guest-list-only play parties, these are sex-positive, kink & swinger friendly, dance worthy, full blown private affairs where anything goes & it usually does. But unlike Metro Events, U-Parties are handled almost exclusively through Evite. So please RSVP to Richard A.D. for vetting & further info. With this in mind, any of our events are also a good time meet him, become vetted, & get on the list.

Changes for The DC Fetish Ball => Please note: we will no longer be doing the full fetish weekend! Rather, we will focus strictly on the main ball for one incredible night. We recommend checking The Metro for available options. 


Facebook Group vs Facebook Page => our focus on Facebook has shifted from the FB Page to our FB Group. Due to the appeasement of Wall Street, you now have to pay to promote your page & "boost your post." Unfortunately, most of our promotions are not our own events so the Metro doesn't work under that model. As a result, not only has growth slowed, but whenever we post an item of interest the current reach is basically irrelevant. Even more, due to the adult edge for our own events, Facebook won't let us 'boost our post' anyway! With such diminishing returns, efforts to maintain the page was a waste of time. However, the Facebook GROUP still offers a solid forum to get the word out. So we've shifted our focus from one to the other. The Page will now be used for event photos & occasional updates to drive traffic to the group, but that's about it. 

News from Around the Scene:  


A Few Notes for The Crucible - there have been a couple developments as of late…
For quite some time The Crucible (DC's main fetish venue for a number of years) has been locked in eternal bureaucratic gridlock as it settled in to a new location. A couple months ago the city finally dropped the zoning restrictions that allowed them to proceed.

This was a huge milestone to get them back up & running. Currently, efforts have been under way to move forward with interior construction. The permits are in place & things are moving along. However, they still need funding to install a commercial sprinkler system which will bring the new space up to code. This is the final major hurdle before DC can have its main play space back. With this intention, crowd-sourcing has been initiated & investors are being sought.   Please see: The-Crucible/FrontFund. .

Studio 58 - As the only on-site fetish club in Frederick, Md. Studio 58 drew from not only its own regrion, but Baltimore & DC as well. However, they were having problems on a number of fronts. One core issue was the zoning was aligned for a photography studio & the did not have proper fire escapes for larger crowds. This put them under the microscope w/ the city & they suffered as a result. So as of May 2016, they ceased operation at their previous location & have since been searching for a venue that more conducive to their intent. We'll see how it all shakes out, but we expect a long hiatus in the meantime.
For their public statement on the subject, please see the Studio 58 Fetlife Post

Dark Odyssey Happy Hour - Although they primarily remain as a DC organization, the core promoters for Dark Odyssey have moved from Maryland to San Francisco. In turn, the local group who has been running the Thursday D.O. happy hour has decided to spin off into their own group. The Thursday night gather is still held on the same night at the same location (see our calendars), but they are now called DC After Dark

Changes to D.O's Summer Camp - Another change for Dark Odyssey pertains to their two main festivals: Summer Camp & Fusion. Although the last festival was lauded as a fantastic time for most, it should be noted that several core elements are no longer present. The ever so popular Clit Washer, Primal Arts Camp, Little's Camp, & Tailgate Camp are all no longer with the Dark Odyssey organization. It should also be noted that the traveling open bar that was always so popular at event parties is no longer serving alcohol. You can get "mock-tails" & bring your own liquor, but booze on site will no longer be provided by D.O.
This was the case for Summer Camp 2016, so we assume this will carry over to Fusion 2017. But that is not yet confirmed. 

The Baltimore Eagle is Set to Reopen in September - After its closure in 2012, the Baltimore landmark was left in purgatory for a number of years. Quibbles between construction & the liquor board dragged on to seemingly endless gridlock. But the long awaited opening has finally become a reality as the former board was dissolved & replaced. This opened the door for new negotiations & permits were finally passed. Now that construction has been completed, the Baltimore icon is ready to open its doors once again.See Washington Blade article for the full scoop. 
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Camp Crucible (Memorial Day Weekend): A Personal Review...
While the Crucible may be structurally in transition, the group remains active. Ongoing parties, events, & cruises have been hosted at various locations throughout the area - including their flagship affair Camp Crucible...

For a change of pace, this past summer we took a trip to camp. I must say, it caught me off guard. It was different, but in a good way. As it is an often overlooked camp for so many in the fetish culture, I'd like to offer a quick review.

Hosted at Ramblewood in Darlington, MD, it's held for 9 days over 2 sessions on the crux of Memorial Day Weekend. Overall, I found it was a noticeable change of pace.

The first thing that struck me was the numbers. They intentionally strive to fill the dinning hall ONCE, but not much more. They feel to do so will lose the cohesive nature that allows for more intimate connection. Fair enough, but my take was a little different. I found it was instrumental to creating an atmosphere & overall vibe that was incredibly relaxed. For once, my camp experience actually felt like a vacation. I actually came home recharged & ready for the days ahead.

That's not to say that other camps offer a bad experience – NO, that's NOT what I'm saying. I simply mean it was a nice change of pace from the high energy festival format.

The other thing that hit me was the incredible use of space. I've been to Ramblewood many times for various festivals & camps from across the scene. But I have NEVER seen a build-out as beautiful & well considered as Camp Crucible. As a promoter, I found the attention to detail & layout to be simply awesome.

One trade-off was cost. Yes, on the surface the camp IS more expensive. But that perspective can be deceiving. The entire experience operates as a type of Kink Club Med. Everything is included: entrance fee w/ the usual parties, play & classes, but also three meals & midnight snack, cabins (there is a discount if you tent), nightly bar-service, beer/juice/soda/water available 24 hours, & they even offer a snack shack anytime you want it. So you get a lot of mileage for your buck.

I also understand they host the largest & most recognized pony camp anywhere east of the Mississippi (possibly for the entire U.S). I even met a couple from Sweden who came across the pond so they could attend pony camp. So if you've ever had an interest in human equestrian / pony play then IS the place you need to be.

Predominantly, they do cater to an older crowd. But overall I found both the beautiful people & us regular folk fully represented.

The final word? Everything in the scene has its pace & place. For some, this may not be quite what you're looking for in a camp or festival experience. But if you'd like a change of pace with a more relaxed atmosphere - in a place that is kink & sex friendly w/ truly open minded people - then this just may be exactly the place you need to be.


Metro Reviews you say? Some time ago we were publishing active & unbiased reviews from our travels throughout the scene. Basically, we wanted people to know what they were missing. We kind of pulled away from that, but I think we'll be reinstalling this element under News & Notes (on our main site). So please check back, we'll do our best to keep you up to date.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Archive 2015

Just in time for the summer season, the annual build-out for The Metro Underground is now complete. No doubt, this was our largest build-out since we launched efforts back in 2008. It's been quite the undertaking, but it we've added a lot so we have all that much more to offer.  Our apologies for the delay, but due to personal reasons it was necessary to take a brief hiatus. Either way, we're finally back so we hope you enjoy! 

First & Foremost, Our Email has Changed - It seems the spam-bots found us, so the old email (Rick@TheMetro) now diverts to a secondary inbox. Additionally, personal email for Richard A.D. has also changed. We're phasing out both so please update any info to
OUR NEW ADDRESS HERE (hidden for fear of spam-bots). Thank you.

A Critical Change for Facebook - Please note: our focus on Facebook is shifting from the FB Page to our FB Group. Previously titled "DC Fetish Ball / DC Fetish Weekend," the group has been renamed to The Metro Underground & will now carry an expanded focus. 

This will do 2 things: First, it will expand the scope & use of the group beyond our own events to cover the full spectrum of the scene (more hard-edged events will still be placed to Fetlife). Second, since Facebook is more mainstream in nature it will also tone down the impact of the previous title. The reason for this is due to changes in policy. We've grown progressively disillusioned w/ Facebook pages. You now have to pay to promote your page & "boost your post." Unfortunately, since most of our promotions are not our own events the Metro doesn't work under that model.

As a result of the new policies, not only has growth ground to a halt but whenever we post an item of interest the current reach is basically irrelevant. With such diminishing returns, efforts to maintain the page at previous levels was seen as a waste of time. However, the Facebook GROUP still offers a solid forum to get the word out. So we're shifting our focus from one to the other. Now the Facebook Page will be used primarily for event photos & bi-monthly updates to drive traffic to the group. 


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Empire & the Alchemy Room have Closed - As of May 5th Springfield's main concert venue has closed. They've certainly had some issues so this doesn't come as a surprise. In fact, bigger bands may now be diverted to better venues such as the 9:30 Club so hopefully this might be a good thing. New ownership may even address some of the issues that plagued previous ownership so we'll have to wait & see what the future holds. But for now, the venue is closed.

Scene favorite Mad MoMo's closes - a DC favorite for smaller events such Burning DC, Tribal Fusion, & our Pre-party for the DC Fetish Ball has recently closed as well. We wish the owners well in their new endeavors.

A Few Changes for Key Events - Burning DC, DC Tribal, Black Beat, Floating World, & GlamourCon are all on hiatus. Tampa Bay Escapes & SteamCon are both cancelled. Kinetic (as expected) won't be returning. Scene favorite, TKN (The Kilted Nation) seems to have closed.

Work Continues on the Crucible - Having moved from its previous location, The Crucible is currently undergoing a full build-out on their new venue. They hope be open for business sometime by the end of summer. Volunteers to assist w/ needed construction are VERY welcome. In the meantime, Camp Crucible held at Ramblewood over Memorial Day Weekend is still on.

The Scene vs. Bureaucracy - it seems that several of the area's main fetish clubs (from DC, to Baltimore, to Frederick) have all faced a heavy assault by bureaucratic entities. Attempts to hinder or close said organizations were offered in the guise of zoning issues or fire codes (as usual). However, we're happy to report that each in turn was eventually give a clean bill of health & operations seem to have now passed beyond scrutiny.

The "50 Shades" Effect - A lot has been said about the recent fever over 50 Shades of Grey. Almost without exception the battle cry of the scene has been for concern over consent & abuse. Make no mistake, these are at issue & need to be addressed. But so much on this subject has already been said that I don't feel the need to reiterate it here.
Personally, I think an overlooked element in all this is the reach it's achieved. Most people have been crying foul because it gives a bad perspective of true BDSM, but to be honest I couldn't get past the writing. It was just bad (REALLY BAD). My impression is that it's basically a Harlequin Romance novel set in a storyline of misinterpreted BDSM. Take away the aspects of BDSM or Fetish then all you have is a body of work that's absolute crap. Yet this woman sold over 100 million copies! Then got a major movie deal! The writer in me wants to cry foul. The other side wants to scream that this living proof that our "Taboo" culture is actually very mainstream. So next time someone rolls out how twisted the kink scene is, let the trumpets blare that this is actually a very mainstream practice carried by a LARGE part of the population.

As a side note, there are a few things to make clear with regard to the entire body of work. The targeted demographic for this is primarily housewives in their 30's, 40's, & 50's. Essentially it's a group who is desperate to spice up their lives but who are not exactly clear on an understanding for things beyond the vanilla. The Author (E.L. James) started the whole thing as a Twilight Fanfiction (I swear, you can't make this stuff up), but that story soon evolved into 50 Shades of Grey. She was an erotic novelist in a mid-life crisis, & like any writer she wrote what she knew. In this case, she was morphing a basic story of fandom into a realm which she knew almost nothing about. BUT she had an array of deep fantasies fueled by an imagination that lived primarily in her own head & which was born of fanciful flights with her erotic novels. So what ended up on the page was not a relationship born of a healthy power exchange, but rather was something that she could superficially understand - something of coercion, total control, & dominance for the sake of it. The rest is a complete rip-off of Secretary meets 9-1/2 Weeks (which were both great movies). So there you have it…

And yes, we broke the " more concise" rule on this one but it was worthy of discussion.
AirBnB Meets Kink - There was Facebook, then came its kinkier cousin Fetlife. So too is there AirBnB, an online network of off the grid privately owned Bed & Breakfast establishments for local travelers. Well now there's KinkBnB offering the same accommodations but for sites of a more sex positive nature. See: kinkbnb.com.

Too Strange Not to be True - With ALL the religious debate now entering politics, beware of what may come. First there was a Florida church that lost its tax exempt status because it was actually operating as a night club for college kids on spring break (although they seem to still be operating as a major dance venue. See: CBS News). Now in Nashville there is a Swingers Club that has applied for zoning as a church (See Full Story Here). God love the entrepreneur in all of us. ;-)

Polly Goes Mainstream - You could call this a new age of sexual enlightenment. The Huffington Post recently featured the Polyamorous Lifestyle in a very positive light (See full story here: Huffington Post Online). It's intriguing how often you're starting to see various cultures gain positive exposure for what are generally considered an 'alternative' culture. I would even say the reason you're hearing so much from leaders of conservative religions is that they know they're losing ground. The only response is be loud (which they do very well). I think down deep they know they're on the way out.

Have a Favorite TV Show? - The Summer Schedule for renewals & cancellations has recently been posted. See article here: WashPost.

Speaking of which, stay tuned! We have more to come!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Archive 2014

A Few Notes for The Metro... 

We've Changed Our Email - Please make note, it seems the spam-bots have found us. we started getting over 400 emails per day of nothing but spam. Consequently, we needed to change our address so Rick@TheMetroUnderground.com will no longer be active. If you need to reach us then you can contact Richard A.D. here. 

The Metro Underground is actively searching for a new venue:  We're currently seeking new locations for our Spring Formal & other events. Potential venues must be able to host 400 (+), be amiable to adult themes, have availability on the weekend (Saturday), access to a good sound, proper ambiance, & be financially viable. Metro access & parking are a plus. Allowing ages 18+ is preferable but not a deal breaker. Central to DC is also preferred (but there has been discussion of moving our spring formal to Baltimore). Most important is a good relationship w/ the owner to build an ongoing relationship that will carry forward.  Please contact Richard A.D. for details.

DC Fetish Ball / Black & White Ball (dcfetishball.com): I want to thank EVERYONE who came out to this year's events. It was an incredible year, no doubt. I also want to thank the incredible team of top talent who come together year after year to make it all happen. It's an honor to host such fantastic affairs, & I'm humbled by the talent, tenacity, & sheer dedication of all those involved. I should have galleries & pics posted soon.  With deep thanks & gratitude,  Richard A.D. 

Changes in Format - In order to streamline our Scene Guide, weekly recurring events will no longer be placed to the Main Calendar except for special theme nights. From now on, please see Recurring Events for ongoing weekly gatherings. 


News from Around the Scene... 

Departed Conventions & Events - Each year as we work on the Metro Calendars, we basically take the pulse of the national & local scene. This year we've noticed a few major conventions & events that seem to be no longer. These include: Colonial Kink, Rubber Ball / Miss Rubber World, Kinetic, Leather Sinsations, Atlanta Bound, Barcelona Fetish Weekend, Queer Playcon, DC Goth Prom, Wicked Woods, Starscape, Leather Cruise, Montreal International Kink Festival, Fires of Venus, Key West Couples Fest, Fetfest, Spooky Halloween Ball, UtopiaCon, & others. There's a story behind each & others are currently on hiatus, but it's worth noting the monumental effort that goes into carrying such affairs forward year after year. We applaud those who keep the scene humming along & those who have put such work into creating those moments of enduring quality.

Maryland Renaissance Festival Explores Opportunities for a New Site (www.rennfest.com): currently located in Crownsville just outside of Annapolis, the Maryland Renaissance Festival is one of the largest & most well regarded festivals of its kind in North America. They currently lease the land upon which the festival is built, but inside sources allude to an issue with the family that holds the lease. Apparently, the core problem comes down to the owner that holds title to the extensive parking area vs the site itself.
       We're not sure of the exact details or nature of the debate, but as a result the board of directors has begun to entertain opportunities for relocation. This could be a power-play to shore up negotiations or it could be an earnest attempt to ensure its viability for the future. In either case, if push comes to shove then this is HUGE news for one of Maryland's most beloved festivals. We wish them well, for merriment in the grove is a favorite way to spend a fine afternoon of merriment with friends. See Facebook Page for official announcements: Facebook.com/mdrenfest

Philly Goth-Industrial Resurrects to Facebook (Facebook Group):  After years of promoting the Philly Goth & Alt. Music scene, their main site was hacked & materials were wiped from memory. Faced w/ starting the entire effort from scratch, their promoters decided it best to shut all efforts down. Can't say we blame them, we'd probably feel the same way.  But after a brief hiatus, they've now resurrected the effort as a Facebook Group. They currently offer updates on club nights & events throughout the area.

The Crucible is on Hiatus - Long time staple for the DC Scene has come to the end of their current lease. The location on M Street has closed, but they're already in final negotiations w/ a new space. Hopefully things will go smoothly & they'll be back in operation soon.

Baltimore Playhouse Reopens - After a fire that ripped through it's previous location, the long time staple for the Baltimore fetish scene has finally found a new home. Established in a 12,000 sq.ft. location, they are now be located at 3010 Washington Blvd. Final details have been taken care of & they're now operational at the new location.

Virginia Unanimously Repeals Outdated Law for Ban on Oral Sex - The Virginia House of Delegates has finally passed a bill to eliminate an outdated law that oral and anal sex a felony (even between consenting adults or married couples). The legislation, which passed the Senate will now go to Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) for his signature. For full article, see: Thinkprogress.org 

Fuel Play Parties are Cancelled & the Venue is Closed - We're not sure the real reasons behind it (although we understand that their numbers had been dwindling), but Baltimore's Fuel Warehouse has been closed until further notice. The official notice is that they had a problem w/ fire code. We'll see how things evolve & keep you posted.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Archive 2013

 
PROHIBITION (Facebook): In celebration of the 80th anniversary of the Repeal of Prohibition, Richard A.D. & The Metro Underground held a special Prohibition Speakeasy. Good God, what an incredible night! What an amazing crowd! PROHIBITION ROCKED!!! I want to thank everyone who made it out, & all those involved who made it happen. The event was a monumental success, the feedback is great, & we need only a few tweaks (the bar) to help make this venue even better for next time. Thank you for such an awesome night.

The DC Fetish Ball - currently featured in Skin Two, Von Gutenberg, & Regen Magazines, with articles pending for Marquise & more to come! Please see current write ups here:
 

The Black & White Ball - Driving off the success of last year's Fetish Ball, on Black Friday (2012) The Metro also hosted The Black & White Ball.  Designed more as a dance night vs. heavy play party, the evening was indeed a true success. Indeed, we're bringing it back for 2013! Offered in special celebration for the birthday of our own DJ Cosmo, we blend a perfect balance of burlesque & belly dance while DJ's keep the dance floor humming. A high energy crowd w/ a bit of play finished the night out to the morning hours. It's the perfect way to celebrate the coming of the December Season.
Changes in Format - In order to streamline our Scene Guide, weekly recurring events will no longer be placed to the Main Calendar except for special theme nights. From now on, please see Recurring Events for ongoing weekly gatherings.

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The Scene in Philly Restructures - For the alt music scene in Philly, Nocturne Wednesday was not only the region's longest running Goth Night but it was an institution. Hosted by Dancing Ferret (the people who bring you Drac's Ball), the last scheduled Nocturne was held in November. But as things progressed this was seen less as an end & more as a restructuring.
        Indeed, the Goth Scene has been dying a slow death over the past couple years. From Philly to Richmond, including DC & Baltimore, weekly nights in the Goth-Industrial culture have fallen one by one. Once mighty nights such as Alchemy still produce great events (Goth Prom, Spooky, etc), but dwindling crowds simply can't support a weekly night, at least not during the mid-week.  Promoters have sought to restructure as they seek a sound footing. Most are moving into a quarterly schedule of specialty events. Others have moved outside the restrictions of a single genre to be more inclusive & explore the possibilities. Such is the case in Philly…
        As great club nights such as Nocturne & Sex Dwarf have passed into the night, others have since risen in their wake to restructure & bring new blood to the local scene. UnScene Philly (hosted by the same people who brought you Nocturne) temporarily picked up the flag for Wednesday but has since fallen. Drac's Ball will still carry forward as a quarterly event, while one man marketing machine Might Mike Saga has stepped in to produce Vortex (future yet to be determined).

        Of course, well beyond the smaller nights provided by Goth-Industrial-EBM, other movements such as the local Rave Scene have witnessed enormous growth over the past couple of years. In fact, in many ways they're now witnessing some growing pains & several large-scale events have begun to collapse under their own weight. The solution? Several are throwing back their roots as they strive to move back into a truly underground format.
        Either way, the future looks bright for Philly. Tireless promoters coupled w/ deep talent makes for a strong foundation. We expect current experimentation will yield good results. So stay tuned as things evolve, for such change will no doubt bring a moving parade for the weeks & months ahead. See 'Clubs' under Philly for a full listing of available venues.
Shampoo Nightclub Closes - Probably the biggest news in Philly is the recent closing of Shampoo Nightclub. Home to just about every alternative event ever hosted, this represents the end of an era for Philly. Much the same as when Nation closed in DC, this will represent a significant change for our brothers to the north.
Asylum 13 brings the Scene to Delaware - When one thinks of a hotbed for the Alternative music scene, Wilmington, Delaware rarely comes to mind. But Asylum 13 has done an incredible job to change all that. Hosting both live bands & top DJ's from around the region, blending specialty nights that cater to the kink scene & burners alike, this weekly dance night has made quite an impact. Indeed, not far from Baltimore or Philly & worth the drive from DC, Asylum 13 is one to keep an eye on. So be sure to check 'em out. See 'Clubs' under Delaware for more.

Orpheus Shakes Up - Working under new management, Baltimore's mainstay has recently made a major shift to their lineup. Former dance nights such as Obscura, N-Code, & Tokyo Shock have since restructured into specialty Goth & Fetish nights such as Hex, Submission, & Regeneration. Even still, the former flavor of Baltimore's most recognized venue for the alternative & underground scene has carried forward. See "Recurring Events" or "Clubs" for a full rundown of select nights.
RVaFreaks.com Calls It a Day - After years of promoting Richmond's Underground Culture (in similar fashion to the Metro), RVaFreaks has since shut down & called it a day. We thank them for their effort & wish them well w/ future endeavors.
Define Clusterfuck (Facebook Thread):  So according to direct Facebook posts from the promoters, the "Bondfire Crew" were to offer the ambitious Temple of Drums II - a free concert of Dubstep, DnB, & EDM on the National Mall. Sounds pretty cool, right? We thought so...  Hell, we thought it was quite impressive. Except for the small fact that full promotions were moving forward while organizers  apparently hadn't even filed for permits. DJ's, Photographers, & a whole team were apparently lined up & ready to go until the ax fell. The kicker? The core promoter was apparently scheduled for Jail just before the concert so organizers currently aren't able to even pull down the event page even though this thing has basically been cancelled. The lesson here?  Just because a few good friends have a "cool totally bitchen" idea, doesn't mean you have any business being in the business.

New Faces at the Crucible - Two Hot Nights to keep an eye on:
  • Risque - The maiden voyage of Crucible's new monthly night took flight on March, 29th. Under the guiding hand of DJ Cosmo, we can attest to its success. In fact, it was possibly one of the best nights the Crucible has ever hosted. With a focus on music, a beautiful high energy crowd created the perfect balance between dance, party, & play. Hosted on the final Friday of each month, it's a new face for an old stand-by & a new night well worth checking out.
  • College Park Kink - Serving as DC's most recent entity for the TNG crowd, CPK has not only brought a new generation into the scene, but has created a bangin' new night for The Crucible. With Mr. Fox at the helm, the monthly event draws a young beautiful crowd of up & coming kinksters. The level of play is very high, social engagement is good, & they've now reached capacity crowds to fill the space. Hosted on the 2nd Friday of each month & available to kinksters young & old, it's a night to definitely keep an eye on.
Club Fantasies Separates from The Crucible - Initially promoted as the Crucible's Swinger Night on 1st Saturdays, this monthly gathering was actually a joint venture the Crucible & Angelo's Club Fantasies. Angelo began as a core promoter for Entre Nous back in the day, later moving on to develop Capitol Cream. After some difficulty with his previous venue (an issue that plagues us all), he rebranded his group into Club Fantasies & joined forces w/ The Crucible to promote the new night. But not all matches are meant to be, so the two soon parted ways. The Crucible still maintains 1st Saturday as its swinger night, while Club Fantasies has now moved on to other venues more accommodating to the more intimate swinger parties for which it strives. Club Fantasies now hosts active play parties for about 20-40 couples at each gathering. More info under 'Groups.' 
Baltimore Polly gains ground on Meet Up - All too often the area's Meet Up groups tend to come & go. But one group that has gained a solid footing is the Baltimore Polly Group. They offer some great insights into the Baltimore Scene as well as providing a fantastic venue for like minded individuals to meet & socialize. Please see Clubs for more.
Recent Closings:  Several area venues of note have recently closed their doors…
Red Palace Closes - Long held as DC's best venue for burlesque, miscellaneous side-show circus acts, alternative music, belly dance, & the like. But w/ the gentrification of H Street, the call of profit finally took its toll. So the owners have since decided to refit the old space into an upscale restaurant more attune w/ the current direction of the H Street corridor. However, in the wake of such loss burlesque has come on stronger than ever & several new venues throughout the city have stepped in to fill the vacuum that was left behind. We have several possibilities so if you are a promoter of such acts, please contact Richard A.D. at The Metro for a few leads.
Baltimore Playhouse Closes - Baltimore's oldest playspace for the fetish & kink culture has recently closed its doors. In short, the venue was dealing with some major structural issues that needed deep attention. After negotiations between the building ownership & the group managing the Playhouse proper it was decided that the membership should seek out a new home. In a twist of fate, the building once vacated saw a catastrophic fire that basically gutted the entire structure, so the building is no more. In the wake of further issues, the leadership of the Baltimore Playhouse seems to be in question if they'll continue such efforts. For a full discussion, see dialogue presented on Fetlife: https://fetlife.com/groups/37194
DC Eagle Set to Move - DC's oldest (& to our knowledge only) club dedicated to the gay male leather culture is currently set to move or close its doors. Current ownership was given a reprieve on its initial deadline for Nov. 2012, & now has until the end of March. Currently in search of a new location, this is not the only time this institution has moved. Previously they had been displaced 4 times over roughly 40 years. But with development taking place throughout the city & commercial rent skyrocketing, new challenges pose a deepening threat. Regardless, deadlines draw near so closure is one possible outcome. We wish them well as they strive for a new beginning!  See more in Washington Blade:
Omega Closes - Previous ownership of DC's Apex abruptly closed its doors. See article in Metro Weekly for more: www.metroweekly.com/news