Metro Weekly

Mid-Atlantic Leather Weekend: What to expect if you’re planning to go

The Centaur MC posted a set of MAL guidelines on their website as well as a full list of vendors still participating in the weekend's popular market.

Puppies at play during MAL 2020 – Photo: Randy Shulman

“A puppy hood is NOT considered a face mask,” so notes the Centaur MC in an extensive list of guidelines and regulations for its upcoming Mid-Atlantic Leather Weekend event.

Earlier this week, the group announced it had voted to proceed with 2022’s MAL Weekend, held over Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend, January 14 to 17.

The event will be slightly reconfigured in an attempt to engender as safe a space as possible for participants. Popular ticketed events, such as Saturday night’s Leather Cocktails and the Sunday afternoon Mr. Mid-Atlantic Leather Contest, which has six contestants in the running, will proceed as usual. Some leather clubs, however, have opted to cancel their weekend events with a hopeful eye toward returning in 2023.

Sunday’s closing night Reaction Dance party, held at the 9:30 Club starting at 7 p.m. and featuring DJ Hazmat, will still close out the weekend, with a strict mask and vaccine requirement in place. 

UPDATE: Several official parties produced by MAL partner KINETIC have been canceled since this story first appeared, including Uncut, originally scheduled for Friday, Jan. 14 and Insomnia, Tea Bag, and Kinetic Kink, originally scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 15. Bootcamp, at SoundCheck on Thursday, Jan. 13, will still be held but in a scaled-back, reduced capacity. The promoters issued a statement regarding the cancelations, which you can read here.

To answer questions for those planning to attend MAL Weekend, meanwhile, we have republished the Centaur MC’s guidelines in full below:

“The members of the Centaur MC would like to thank everyone for their patience while we work to restructure MAL 2022 to be safe for those who have chosen to attend. Below are some guidelines we are asking all attendees to abide by in doing your part to help reduce risk to all participants.

“The District of Columbia has a vaccine and mask mandate in place. We will be asking everyone to show proof of vaccination before you can enter the hotel. Currently, the CDC defines fully vaccinated as receiving a 2-dose series of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or a single dose of the Johnson [and] Johnson vaccine. We will be accepting paper and digital copies of your proof of vaccination, however, please note that if hotel security has reason to believe that your vaccination card has been altered or is fake, you may be denied entry into the Hyatt Regency.

“The mask mandate for the District of Columbia states that masks must be worn indoors unless actively eating or drinking. The Centaurs have added the following mask restrictions to this mandate.

    • MASKS MUST BE WORN WHENEVER INDOORS AND STANDING IN LINE.
    • MASKS MUST BE WORN WHEN USING THE ELEVATORS.
    • A PUPPY HOOD IS NOT CONSIDERED A FACE MASK.
    • MASKS MUST BE WORN BUYING DRINK TICKETS OR ORDERING A BEVERAGE.
    • MASK WILL BE REQUIRED IN EXHIBIT SPACE.

THERE WILL BE DESIGNATED EATING AND DRINKING AREAS. NO FOOD OR DRINK WILL BE ALLOWED OUTSIDE DESIGNATED AREAS. Failure to comply can result in being removed from the premises.

“These new protocols may result in extended wait times throughout the day. Please be patient and remember this is new to us and the hotel. We are doing our best to accommodate our guests with the mandates in place. Hand sanitizer stations will be available throughout the hotel, and we encourage you to use them throughout your stay. The Centaurs encourage you to know your COVID status prior to attending and recommend that you try to get tested after the event.”

The group has also added a liability addendum, par for the course with large, private gatherings like this:

“By choosing to attend  MAL 2022 you are agreeing to abide by all safety protocols put into place by all parties involved and to accept personal responsibility for your actions thus indemnifying the Centaur Motorcycle Club, its members, the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill, and any event partners against any and all claims, liabilities, causes of action and expenses that may result in personal injury, sickness or death related to your participation at MAL 2022.”

As for the vendors in the popular Leather Market, several have pulled out, including heavy-hitter Mr. S Leather. But many are still planning to attend and showcase their wares. Centaur MC addresses the issue on their website with the following note:

“We are aware that people are concerned about the number of exhibitors that will be attending MAL 2022. We understand the tough decision many companies have had to make in withdrawing from MAL Weekend. The Centaur MC will continue to support them, and encourage you to do the same during these difficult times. 

“The list of exhibitors is changing as companies evaluated their ability to participate in MAL weekend. Below is a list of current companies that are still planning to exhibit, and we ask that you check the website,  www.leatherweekend.com for updates to participating exhibitors and weekend events. 

Current MAL 2022 exhibitors include: 

• Aurora Clothiers by Allen Gale
• Anubis Gear
• Bite the Fruit
• Cockeye Kink
• Collars by Boz
• Dirty South Leather
• FFausten
• Le Chateau Exotique
• Majere’s Metals
• Obscure Belts
• PASSIONAL Boutique & Sexploratorium
• Rubio Leather
• Sling Pimps
• TLS RubberGear
• Tribal Son
• Wolfstryker Leather

Mid-Atlantic Leather Weekend last took place in January 2020. Centaur MC voted to cancel MAL 2021 due to uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.

For the most recent updates on MAL 2022, including information on hotel and weekend package refunds, visit www.leatherweekend.com.

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