Carine De Mesmaeker is the founder and producer of Velvet Ibiza, Europe’s popular 5-day party for queer women. Velvet Ibiza made history in its inception year by being the first ever queer women’s event held in the small Balearic island famously known for its LGBTQ-friendly culture, its vibrant nightlife scene, and celebrity sightings.
The event attracts a vastly international crowd with LGBTQ women traveling from all over the globe. According to De Mesmaeker, Velvet Ibiza is “a unique vacation destination in paradise which provides attendees the freedom to be who they are – no matter what the size of their body, the color of their skin and/or the tax bracket they belong to.” De Mesmaeker is known to be the life of the party, and hug every single guest throughout the 5-day celebration.
We spoke with De Mesmaeker about organizing events and the LGBTQ community.
Describe yourself in a six-word sentence.
A passionate, committed lesbian event organizer.
What do you think is the main challenge facing LGBTQ people in your community?
I still find a discrepancy between what has been legally obtained (equal rights – marriage) and how some people look at LGBTQ individuals. Unfortunately, there are more and more reports of gay bashing in my country of Belgium whilst we now have equal rights.
What is your favorite LGBTQ business where you live?
Unfortunately, all lesbian/queer women bars in Belgium have been closed. Belgian Pride in Brussels is the highlight of the year, more specifically the “Women’s square,” which is focused on queer women and showcases an all-Female DJ line-up.
What advice do you have for people looking to get into organizing events?
I naturally welcome new initiatives. Start with small events and learn from your mistakes, this is the only way to have success.