The members of Centaur MC the host organisation voted to go ahead and hold the 2022 Mid-Atlantic Leather Weekend, January 14 -17, 2022 in an extraordinary special meeting held just last weekend 2nd Jan 2022. It comes in the wake of a two-pronged attack with new pandemic restrictions coming into force in Washington DC that very weekend as well as many of the big exhibitors who travel in from other states in the USA or from across borders sadly posting that they can no longer attend.
MAL is one of the ‘Big Seven’ tentpole events of the North American Fetish calendar alongside IML, Folsom, CLAW, Leatherpride, Dore, Southern Decadence and Pig week. It is the one in Mid-Winter that everyone that can goes too but because of its positioning in the seasonal calendar is most vulnerable to a health issue situation like a new Covid wave. It is held largely to pick the long-established MAL leather title holder for the following year which is a very big important sash and over the years has grown to a large 4-day event with fetish market, parties and a whole load more and is often readily known as ‘The sleaziest & most fun weekend on the Continent’. It was last held in January 2020 and like most others skipped last year due to the pandemic.
The sudden rapid rise in Omicron cases which has caused a Worldwide short wave since its discovery only back on November 18th is causing authorities to add what seems like very short-lived rules and restrictions as it seems to spread more easily but also seems to be much milder than previous Covid strains.
The Centaurs stated ‘We acknowledge that it is each individual’s personal choice to attend the Mid-Atlantic Leather Weekend 2022. More details are to come and will include any additional rules, restrictions, or other changes to help make the weekend as safe and fun as possible.’ This is a rapidly moving situation so if involved directly keep a regular eye on their website and social media pages which they are promising to keep regularly updated’. The vote came after D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser tightened COVID-19 restrictions to combat a recent surge in cases. Just before New Year the Mayor ordered bars, restaurants, nightclubs, and indoor gathering spaces to require proof of vaccination for entry beginning on Jan. 15, 2022. The order came after Bowser reinstated a mandate requiring that masks be worn in indoor venues until Jan. 31, in response to an uptick in confirmed COVID-19 cases in part due to the new, more contagious omicron variant.
Just this week major fetish retailers like Fort Troff, Mr S and Rough trade Gear as well as The DC Boys Of Leather plus others have all announced separately on their social medias that they will sadly not be at MAL this year. This will come with a heavy heart as our major fetish companies are key to these big events and are great supporters and we are confident that they will all be back in DC bigger and better than ever next time. Of course, these companies have to put the health of their staff as a priority not to mention asking them to travel during a sudden health spike.
There is new information for those who have tickets and have booked hotel rooms in the host hotel The Hyatt whereas those that have made external accommodation plans and may be thinking of changing them will have to contact their hotels directly.
TICKETS ‘According to Centaur MC, those who have registered for MAL 2022 but decide not to attend should contact Box Office Tickets for a refund. Cancellations will incur a $30 fee, and bookings cannot be transferred to future MAL weekends. However, bookings can be transferred to another person, aged 21+, by emailing Box Office. BoxOffice Tickets is waiving the cancellation fee.
HOTELS – Those who opt to cancel their booking at MAL’s host hotel, the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, “will lose your 1-night non-refundable hotel deposit,” Centaur MC warned. Yet since that announcement we have heard that the deposit may now be recoverable…..so please check this rapidly changing situation.” You can transfer your room to another individual by contacting the hotel directly and arranging the transfer,” the organization said. “You will need to make your own financial arrangements with the person you transfer the room to. You will not be able to carry your room over to any future MAL weekend.”
These large events which we all enjoy so much and often travel major distances too are organised by great teams of well-meaning fetish guys and promoters and this hopefully last couple of weeks of Covid interruptions is a headache of unbelievable proportions especially as it is due to outside factors that they are innocent victims off. Therefore, our best wishes go out to the DC team and its many faithful visitors in what has become just unlucky timing. We know that the event will be run well and within all the rules existing for everyone’s safety so go, enjoy, abide by the rules and have fun and we trust that this will be the last report of this type we have to submit as we all move to a time where we live with Covid rather than let it dictate to us. Hotels etc have to be booked months in advance by fetish events with large amounts of money, hefty contracts and stringent cancellation insurances in place which means that where possible the event should always proceed under whatever are the local public health rules at the time but our promoters are not the ones making the decisions and are not health experts they just have to deal with the fall-out. MAL would not have been helped by the proportionally high number of people in the USA just ‘not doing their bit to help’ choosing not to get vaccinated because they support the former ‘liar in chief’ President Cockwomble of Florida, believe in high velocity gun ownership beyond anything else rather than say a jab that may help your loved ones live a healthy life and of course Qanon where the World’s biggest paedophilia network is run from the basement of a Pizza parlour (which in fact has no cellar whatsoever) and that Michelle Obama is actually a man and JFK is about to reappear on the grassy knoll in Dallas 59 year later……
It also should be noted in support of the Centaurs decision that major sporting events on the Eastern seaboard still have packed mixing crowds daily and are not cancelled. So, MAL is happening in 2022 and we trust that everyone attending will have a great time and Covid can now just go do one as we need our lives and events back safely.