We all know that January can be a long and depressing month. Brighten yours by booking a flight to Washington DC for the annual Mid Atlantic Leather Weekend (MAL).
After the cancellation of the 2021 festival because of Covid, organizers expect extra numbers at the 2022 event. It takes place January 13-17th, and the teams behind it promise, “a massive three-night, four-day spectacular featuring some of the world’s most famous circuit DJs and performers.”
This year’s MAL will feature five big parties with eleven star DJs: Alex Acosta, Ben Bakson, Brett Oosterhaus, Cindel, Conner Curnick, Dan Slater, GSP, Isaac Escalante, J Warren, Onyx, and Tom Stephan.
Related: Gay bars in Washington DC
The full rundown of events at Mid Atlantic Leather Weekend
January 13th: Bootcamp at Soundcheck, 1420 K St NW, Washington, DC. The opening party with DJs Onyx and J Warren. Attendees can also grab their MAL dog tags.
January 14th: Uncut XL at Whitfield Studios, 1235 W Street NE, Washington, DC. Billed as MAL’s biggest Friday night event, Uncut will take place at a new warehouse space with state-of-the-art lighting and design. Tom Stephan and Isaac Escalante spin the sounds.
January 15th: After Party at Raw. Following on from Uncut XL, the After Party will run 3.30-8am. DJs Cindel and Alex Acosta spin the beats.
January 15th: Teabag: MAL, at Ivy City Smokehouse 1356 Okie Street NE, Washington, DC. Afternoon Tea Dance from 3-7pm with DJ Dan Slater.
January 15th: Kinetic: Kink, at Echostage 2135 Queens Chapel Rd NE, Washington, DC. This is the big, main event, with DJs Brett Oosterhaus, Ben Bakson, and GSP. This will be the first LGBTQ event at the award-winning Echostage venue. Attendees are invited to wear their best fetish gear, so expect to see a few sights.
The weekend is a collaboration between several promoters. One of them, Jesus Quispe of Le Fantasy, said in a statement, “We have secured the city’s best and most colossal venues for KINETIC: MAL Weekend. There will be lots of dancing, cruising, and sliding into one other!”
Tickets are available now for individual events or for a weekend pass. Proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test within the previous five days will be required for entry to all events. Vaccination proof can include an original vaccination card or copy, a digital photo of the card, or a digital vaccination record on your phone.
Where to stay in Washington DC for Mid Atlantic Leather
• Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill
The Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill is the official host hotel for Mid Atlantic Leather weekend. The 838-room hotel lies just a few blocks from the US Capitol and Union Station.
• Dupont Circle Hotel
Dupont Circle is the center of gay life in Washington DC, and thankfully just a few blocks from most of the MAL weekend events. The Dupont Circle Hotel reopened its door in October 2020 after a large-scale renovation that adds glamour and members-club vibe to the building’s original 1950s design.
Another gorgeous and luxurious establishment in the center of all the action. Formerly known as the Kimpton Carlyle Dupont Circle, the 196-room Lyle reopened its door in April 2021 following closure in March 2020. It’s now owned by the Lore Group.
• Hamilton Hotel Washington DC
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The iconic, downtown Hamilton Hotel Washington DC is ideally placed just a block from Soundcheck, the venue for opening night Mid Atlantic Weekend party. Step back in time at this ornately appointed hotel harking back to the 20s. It’s also just six blocks from the White House.
• Ivy City Hotel
Mid Atlantic Leather weekend venues Echostage and Whitefield Studios are not near the Downtown area. If you want a local hotel, there’s the affordable, two-star, boutique Ivy City Hotel. In addition, the wider Ivy City neighborhood offers plenty of restaurants, bars, and shopping. It’s also just a stone’s throw from both locations.
• The Mayflower Hotel, Autograph Collection
Another downtown hotel, handy for the Soundcheck and DC’s main tourist attractions, the Mayflower Hotel lies close to the White House. The iconic establishment has been welcoming guests for 100 years and combines historic grandeur and modern sophistication.
UPDATE – January 7, 2022 – MAL postponed
The majority of the weekend-long Mid Atlantic Leather has been postponed. Organizers issued the following statement:
“As the number of COVID-Omicron cases continue to rise, KINETIC has been evaluating our ability to ensure the health and safety of the community at the official parties for the upcoming Mid-Atlantic Leather 2022 weekend. After consulting with our partners, D.C. government officials, and members of the community, we have made the difficult decision to postpone our parties and provide refunds to individual and weekend dance pass ticket holders for 2022.”
A scaled-down, Thursday Bootcamp party will still go ahead.