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Barcelona and Sitges were overrun with the gays and the sounds of Circuit once again as Matinée group threw its biggest event yet earlier this August. Dedicated disco bunny bitch Cliff Joannou survived ten of the eighteen parties on offer…

Four years is a long time in queer life. In four years a super-gay can make 8,764 new best friends simply by going out two weekends a month. In four years, the average queen has also listened to 102,436 minutes of Kylie, and drank 3,256 litres of harmful liquid substances (we’re talking cheap vodka, where did YOUR mind go?). I’ll spare you the sexual health stats.

Likewise, in those same four years, Matinée Group’s annual Circuit Festival has achieved much. What kicked off as Europe’s answer to the American dominance of the Circuit party scene, has now become the gay world’s most talked about party festival. This year that fact was hugely evident with visitors from as far afield as the USA, Brazil, Lebanon, Australia and the Nordic countries flocking to it like moths to the proverbial flame. (P.S. Those were just the countries from which this writer’s own new ‘best friends’ came from.)

As if staging eighteen club events across 10 days wasn’t enough, whoever’s idea it was to hire Barcelona’s vast outdoor water park for exclusive use by all these rampant gays should be given a national day of celebration in their honour. Simply put, it’s a ridiculously fun event! The proceedings were marred somewhat by a disastrous coat check system that had people queuing for hours for their belongings, a small complaint in the grand scheme of things that didn’t manage to take the shine off the memory of a wonderful day. It all finished on a moving/mushy note as we watched the leftovers in the big gay soup of the waterpark shed a tear as the fireworks exploded overhead to an Amy Winehouse medley. Very cute.

Yes, the sight of thousands upon thousands of men in Speedos is a little distressing to the eye of an innocent homosexual like me, but beyond the tonnes of exposed flesh is the making of what can only be described as the closest thing to Disneyland for any hedonistic adult outside of Las Vegas. If you can’t have fun here, you’re clearly missing the ‘gay abandon’ gene (or maybe just depleted of all serotonin from the night before).

Certainly the hot guys all over the branding for Circuit can be quite intimidating to a lot of people, and I can understand why: pumped pecs, washboard abs, tanned Latin boys with impossibly fit facial formations, much like an issue of lads mag Loaded adapted for the gays. It’s all very ‘extreme gay makeover’ material. However, the reality is that, yes, a notable chunk of guys present have one or two (and some, all) of said physical endowments, but not everyone looks like they’ve spent the last six months living under a bench press. Circuit Festival is just as much about the laughs, jokes and good times you share with your friends, and the new people you meet along the way. At least it was for our rowdy lot!

Having said that, if the sight of an impossibly Adonis-like physique either repulses you or sends you into uncontrollable convulsions of ecstasy, then be careful just how much you stare at the gogos: they have been known to induce involuntary ejaculations in the baying crowd. The key here is to not look directly at them, while discretely admiring/cussing them off via casual glances from the corner of your eye. Hell, perhaps even pretend you don’t find them even vaguely attractive if it helps you deal with the fact that you ain’t ever gonna pull one.

However, in the spirit of homoxual journalistic commitment, we sent one of the sluttier members of our travelling committee to attempt such a task. He did actually succeed, managing to pull a cute South American specimen. Said gogo is a “trained lawyer” back home, but – alas – can’t practice his profession in Spain, so has taken on the next logical career move of dancing with his tits out to put protein shakes on the table for him and his starving fellow gym buddies. We admire his creativity.

The stage shows at each event are immense as are many of the venues they are housed in, with an endless stream of dancers in front of huge video screens shakin’ their
booties. The performers, the fireworks and the PAs (in particular Maya at the Main Party) were top dollar, too.

While we loved the visual splendour of it all, if we were to nit-pick anything it would be some of the sounds played. I feel they could have delivered more by showcasing the myriad of talented DJs that come out of the European dance scene than trying to focus so much on the tribal/diva-driven USA circuit party sound that indeed many Americans come over to Europe to escape. If we never heard another Adele remix it’s because we’re not at a Circuit party. However, several DJs shone, with the Rapido crew, Taito Tikaro, our own Pagano, and even Brazil’s Ana Paula delivering quality tuneage.

Indeed, going to any Circuit Festival party for the music is like going to Waitrose to buy a new dildo. You won’t come back with what you went out to find. However, the jaw-dropping, mouth-watering selection of tasty men of all types on offer in each corner of every event is literally like being a kid in a candy shop. (This must have been how Michael Jackson felt when he opened Neverland!) For this isn’t about lapping up the most credible underground music ever or enjoying the architectural offerings of Barcelona, it’s about the sheer fun to be had… and it’s almost impossible not to enjoy the experience. As ‘lads on holiday go’, this is the queer equivalent. And we loved every bite! 🙂

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