Mid-Atlantic’s Thomas John wins Drummer 2016; Missouri Valley’s Dan Gurule wins Drummerboy 2016
(Las Vegas, Nevada) — “There was so much DNA in Sin City we thought about calling a CSI Team!” … What happens in Vegas, usually stays in Vegas — but anecdotes and antics abound from the highly successful second annual Drummer North America (DNA) fetish weekend, held January 28–31, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
DNA 2016 drew more than 260 weekend pass holders to the Alexis Park All Suites Resort, the host hotel and home for all DNA weekend events. Day passes and local residents attending DNA events helped boost total weekend attendance to more than 290.
Based on this year’s success, both DNA organizers and the Alexis hotel were happy to lock in next year’s contest weekend: Mark your calendar for Thursday, February 2 through Sunday, February 5, 2017 for DNA 2017 at the Alexis.
Eleven contestants competed for the DNA 2016 fetish titles — six contestants vied for Drummer, five contestants for Drummerboy. There were no contestants for the Drummer Bootblack title. When the scores were tallied Thomas John of the Mid-Atlantic region won the title of Drummer 2016, with Paulo Batista of (Southern California) placing first runner-up. Dan Gurule of (Missouri Valley) claimed the title of Drummerboy 2016, with Billy Seablom of North Florida placing first runner-up.
Judges for the Drummer and Drummerboy 2016 were: Brian Dawson, International Mr Drummer 1989, of Los Angeles, California; Trooper Long, Great Lakes Bootblack 2008 and 2009, of Detroit, Michigan; Markus “Shadow” Christensen, Mr Sin City Leather 2005, of Las Vegas, Nevada; Aaron Duke, American Leatherman 2013, of West Hollywood, California; and, Deborah Hoffman-Wade, Ms Alameda County 2009, of Oakland, California. The Tally Master for DNA was Andy Chmielowski-Liu.
The contest also marked the official step-aside of DNA’s inaugural titleholders chosen in St Petersburg, Florida last year. Drummer 2015 Doc Hoskins Jr, of New York, Drummerboy 2015 Wouter Popelier, of central Pennsylvania, and Drummer Bootblack Pup Scuff, of Cincinnati, Ohio, each spoke eloquently and with humor about their title years, bestowing their title to the new winner.
Highlights of DNA weekend included contestant BDSM demos, a frisky Underwear Party, two Dare to Bare Strip Poker games, a Women Of Drummer social mixer, open shine Bootblack Lounge, a Cigar & Scotch/Bourbon social hosted by the Top Mens Club, the Onyx Dance Party, Mama’s Family Reunion, Coffee & Cock-Tales with ABW Brunch, and Black Light Mini-Golf.
Education Coordinator Master Tony Palazzo led the DNA education series, which included interactive workshops on “Flogging” by Sir James; “CBT – Using & Abusing the Family Jewels” by Master Tony; and a two-part series on “Rope Bondage to Shibari” by Sir Joel.
The Women Of Drummer turned out in force, comprising about 19% of weekend package attendees, holding a social mixer, Leather Women’s Roundtable Discussion, and helping to spearhead a dedicated Queer Play Space.
DNA Fetish Weekend is a celebration of gay masculinity with DNA titles celebrating the broad range of fetish and kink identities of gay men from rubber, leather and sports kit, to military, skinheads, punks and more. DNA 2016 was open to contestants from across North America holding a pre-qualifying regional DNA title.
A dedicated roster of talented leather community leaders joined DNA staff to oversee key areas of DNA and contest and weekend operations, including: Event Producer Tina Landi; Contest Manager Henry James; Education Coordinator Master Tony Palazzo; Judges Coordinator Tank Teachworth; Den Daddy David Labriola; Stage Manager Buzz Norwood; Assistant Stage Manager Margaret Irene; Hospitality Coordinator Ms Kitty; Volunteer Coordinator Jen Laws; Playspace Coordinator Boy Ricky; Webmasters Dan Falkenham and Randy Mann; and Registration Manager Damon Stango.
The event was supported significantly by local Vegas kink and leather community groups including: Las Vegas boys of Leather, girls of Leather Las Vegas, LUC of Las Vegas, Sin Sity Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, Leather & Leaf of Las Vegas.
Drummer North America was launched in October 2014 and is the first US-based fetish organization and contest weekend to have owners from two countries. From the US, Master Mike Zuhl is the former owner and producer of the Drummer International contests, founder of the International LeatherSIR/Leatherboy and International Community Bootblack contests, and owner of Leather Central bar in Pittsburgh. From Canada, Master Brandon Matheson is a former President of Mr Leatherman Toronto, a founder of the Church Street Fetish Fair, creator and co-producer of the popular Rough House dungeon parties in Toronto, and a former regional producer and board member of International LeatherSIR/Leatherboy and International Community Bootblack.