In April,the Organ Grinders ball rocked the House of Blues stage with an out of this world, sexy experience featuring the music of Diamond Dogs,a David Bowie cover band. Organ Grinders Ball is a variety and fetish fashion show running in Cleveland for the past twenty-two years.Known for a steamy performance filled with a variety of goth, punk, and fetish fashion, Organ Grinders Ball is sure to impress anyone!
I was lucky enough to be able to interview Gemma and Tommy, the producers and creative minds behind this crazy, wild show. :
1.C: What’s the mission of OGB and how did it get started?
G: Organ grinders ball was started because over 2 decades ago my husband owned a store called Chain Link Addiction in Cleveland. Chain Link was really the first of its kind here that sold studs for punk rock jackets, manic panic hair dye, vinyl and patent leather clothing. My husband also was one if the first people to rent out space for body piercing as well. Since that time my husband has sold the stores, but has always maintained the events.
2. C: What message do you send to the audience every year?
G&T: I guess the overall message that we try to put out there is in our world, we don’t judge you (as long as we are in the confines of the law). our world, for one day, lets you experience your freedoms with no judgements. Size doesn’t matter, sexual preference.
3. C: Who runs OGB, and are there any other events like this.
G: OGB is run by TV productions which consists of Tommy Viets and wife Gemma Viets-event producers. We have Craig and Amanda who are responsible for the fashion show portion of our event. Craig is also a vital part of our advertising and internet exposure. We do reach out to the overall community as well with presenting sponsors and vendor tables as well that sell their goods at our event. TV productions owns organ grinders ball and we do do a smaller event known as Fetish Playland which is the Organ Grinders Ball without the fashion show. We did not do Fetish Playlands last year as we are currently in search of the right venue and the right fit that can accommodate us.
4. C: Can anyone be a part of the show? How does one audition?
G&T: Being a model in our show is probably one of the most envious positions to be in. Everyone wants to do it, but not everyone has the courage. Every year people come up to me regretting that they did not try out. Our website http://www.fetishplayland.com and http://www.theorgangrindersball.com will feature the try out dates around Christmas time. Tryouts area always around the 2nd or 3rd week of January. Once chosen models rehearse once a week until the ball. It is quite the social event. Craig and Amanda host the tryouts and it is announced during the tryouts. If one misses the tryout date, there is not another one until next year. Models are not paid, and this is an opportunity to explore a side of themselves in a public setting that is just not available.