Having crashed onto the Berlin scene in hedonistic style last summer (with Peaches headlining), Yo! Sissy held its second festival on 29th-30th July promising more innovative International queer music, art, drag queens, and raw unbridled energy.

I'm hesitant to start off proceedings with a debbie downer - especially for a festival that is so full of joy and love - but hey it's what I do best. I'd had my eye on the festival for some weeks, but honestly the event that tipped me over into committing to a Berlin-trip was the horrific events in Pulse, the gay club in Orlando. Any mass shooting is obviously a disgusting, awful event - but for the gay community there was a particular sense of anger, confusion, and grief; and quite frankly - feeling God-damn terrified and hugely vulnerable.

The safest of safe spaces, our sanctuary, one of the few places we can be ourselves and kiss and kiss and kiss and dance and dance and dance, without fear of, I don't know, crude glances/low-lying homophobia-esque judgement (at best), or, other more overt acts of cruelty and violence, was attacked. However, what followed I found was an outpouring of solidarity from the LGBT community - on a personal level (I have never had so many conversations in the days that followed expressing how much certain people in my life mean to me), and in a wider sense on a local and global level - the vigils, the fundraising, the events, the discussions, the 'we will not fucking hide' and tolerate any homophobic shit, and you will be rest-assured that we will be louder and more fabulous and daubed in glitter than ever yassss etc etc. So the importance of celebrating all things queer was reaffirmed in my mind - and boy is this something that Yo! Sissy does spectacularly.

The festival, organised by Pansy and Scout, this year was held over two days at two different venues with the first night at the somewhat sprawling Musik & Frieden by the River Spree. Zhala produced an electrifying, intense and OH-SO LOUD strobey set towards the start of the eve, in her usual bold make-up - and that kind of intensity set the tone for the night. Star attraction Mykki Blanco played the main room - to a packed main room - as Mykki prowled through the crowd at certain points and generally brought the party. Christeen was at times genuinely fear-inducing but in the very best way - fierce monologues being produced between tracks in her custom guttural, somewhat terrifying delivery about all manner of queer-related issues. Trashy, raucous, just a delightful headfuck tbqf.

Hi-Fashion in the same room was another highlight from an evening of many - my defining memory of this was not seeing a lot of people fully clothed during that set. Dancing, dancing; sweating, sweating. A blurry mess. Leaving Musik & Frieden and walking through Gorlizer Park at 6am as the sun rose with ears ringing to death is how I want to end most nights. Absolutely slay me, Berlin.

Night two was held at Postbahnhof not too far away and a stone's throw from this little club you may have heard of called Berghain? Le1f 100% nailed it and was the main draw from tonight's line-up with the venue having a different feel to Friday night's fun - with less rooms, but the rooms themselves larger. Karin Park brought a slightly more, dare I say sensual angle to the in-your-face acts of most of Yo! Sissy, but it most certainly worked and a welcome gear-shift change.

The whole eve, and indeed the whole festival, was a bizarre mixture of the unforgettable, combined with forgotten and obliterated memories. The Yo! Sissy project comes from a hugely benevolent, DIY source and relies on the love and contributions from so many - I sincerely hope that a 3rd incarnation of the festival will see the light of day soon. Go support it if/when such an event happens.

Read more: 64 photos of dogs from Standon Calling 2016

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