Get Ready For Folsom Street Fair San Francisco – Version 2016
Every gay with a pulse around the world is aware that San Francisco has long been a safe haven. As the liberal bastion of American society, San Francisco has long afforded most residents and visitors equal rights, even before such a concept existed. Imagine that – treating us gays and lesbians as the people we are! Well, it is time to pay homage to the great city of San Francisco by attending the world famous San Francisco Folsom Street Fair. And, what a party it is shaping up to be!
Billed as the largest gay leather festival in the world, the stage could not be set any brighter. On Sunday, September 25TH from 11:00am – 6:00pm, Folsom Street Events’ annual Folsom Street Fair presents one of the hottest three-way headliner line-ups ever. The nonprofit event producers will showcase some of the most stellar music from synth pop and electronic to indie and house. Folsom Street Fair presents a tour de force of live acts that will appeal to its queer audience, pairing alternative music with alternative sexualities. This year’s main stage headliners are electronic and indie dance dynamos: Dragonette, YACHT, and ADULT.
Let’s begin with a snipet about Dragonette to whet your appetite. It’s been nearly four years since Toronto-based leftfield popsters Dragonette put out a full-length album – an eternity in Pop years. Though they’ve hardly been idle in that time. The touring around the 2012 LP “Bodyparts,” coupled with their smash collaborations with French DJ Martin Solveig, saw them almost constantly continent-hopping, sometimes swinging from Paris to Manila in a single weekend. They did tours of the US with Major Lazer, Miike Snow and The Presets, played to a packed mid-day tent at Coachella, and graced festival stages on five continents.
After a bit of depressurization, the band collaborated with top-flight electronic music producers from across the planet, including Dutch producer Mike Mago, US beatmaster Big Data, and Swedish hit-makers Galantis. All this work with other people has provided fresh fuel for the Dragonette mothership. They’re currently putting the finishing touches on their as-yet-untitled fourth album, and “Let The Night Fall” and “Lonely Heart” are a first taste of that work.
Another headlining group this year will be Yacht. YACHT lives in and champions the city of Los Angeles, CA. YACHT’s core members are Jona Bechtolt (pronounced John-uh Beck-tolt) and Claire L. Evans. YACHT’s new album is called “I Thought the Future Would Be Cooler.” The album was produced by Jona Bechtolt & Rob Kieswetter. YACHT signed to Downtown Records in late 2014. YACHT’s last two critically acclaimed LPs (“Shangri-La,” “See Mystery Lights”) were released by seminal New York City label, DFA Records. Rob Kieswetter has been a close collaborator since YACHT’s inception.
YACHT have created and sold unplayable compact discs, published a philosophical handbook, designed a sunglasses collection, created a fragrance, campaigned against NSA surveillance, and given presentations about their work in art museums, tech conferences, and rock clubs. Claire and Jona are the co-founders of an app called 5 Every Day that suggests five interesting things to do in LA every day.
And then there is Adult. Detroit’s electro-punk phenomenon ADULT. (Nicola Kuperus and Adam Lee Miller) began their unpredictable path with one now totally obscure 12” (“Modern Romantics”). In 2001, with the release of “Resuscitation,” their first compilation album, ADULT. started playing more shows than ever as well as remixing artists.
After two more 12”s and their first limited edition 7”, ADULT. delivered their second album “Anxiety Always” in 2003. Following its release, ADULT. embarked on their first “proper” US and European tour. Successive releases such as “Gimmie Trouble,” “Why Bother?,” and “The Way Things Fall” have cemented the band as a formidable act with remarkable artistic output. Currently, the band is working on a new release, “Detroit House Guests,” with the likes of Shannon Funchess (Light Asylum) and Douglas McCarthy (Nitzer Ebb) – both Folsom Main Stage alumni.
Other Notable Attractions
In addition to the main stage, the fair features two dance areas: Magnitude Dance Area on 11TH Street between Folsom and Harrison and the DEVIANTS Dance District on Folsom at 13TH Street. These stages are named after the two popular Folsom parties that take place during the same weekend. Headlining the Magnitude Dance Area are circuit DJs Russ Rich, Josh Whittaker, and fan favorite Alex Acosta with a live performance by Vernessa Mitchell. Headlining the DEVIANTS Dance District is the SF Bay Area debut of Tuff City Kids, Roi Perez, and the return of BAAAHS in its ‘sheered’ form.
The Folsom Street Fair takes place in San Francisco’s South of Market district. Locals sometimes refer to this area as “SoMa”. Up Your Alley takes place on Folsom Street between 9TH Street and Juniper, on 10TH Street between Howard and Sheridan, and on Dore Street between Howard and the dead end of Dore just passed Powerhouse. Folsom Street Fair takes place on Folsom Street between 8TH and 13TH Streets this year. That’s right – after many years of producing the exact same fair footprint, we’re shaking things up a bit and shifting the fair over a block! We hope that this shift results in improved vehicle traffic around the fair (by opening up 8TH Street to live traffic) and reduced residential impact. As an added bonus, The Eagle will be on the fairgrounds!
Helpful Information To Know
The Folsom Street Fair is a free event! The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence and other gate volunteers will welcome you and ask you for a charitable donation, however, so consider your generous side as you attend. When you donate $10 or more, you will receive a fair sticker that will entitle you to $2 off of each drink you purchase from a Folsom Street Events (FSE) beverage booth. So, be generous – give ‘til it hurts, and please drink responsibly!
This year, the closing parties for both Up Your Alley (ROUGH) and Folsom Street Fair (DEVIANTS) will be at the same location: Mezzanine. The venue is located at 444 Jessie Street; this is a short, 10-15 minute walk from the fairgrounds. Exit on the Howard side of either fair, make your way to Mission Street and head east toward downtown (i.e. the numbered streets should be going down). Turn north (or left) off of Mission between 5TH and 6TH Streets.
If you are not native to San Francisco, there are several options for host hotels: From Kimpton Properties, The Sir Francis Drake on Union Square, and The Buchanan, located between Pacific Heights and Japantown. From Viceroy Hotels, The Hotel Zeppelin, in historic Nob Hill. Use promo code FSFLEATHER. Also, for the first time, we are partnering with KinkBNB – for those of you who are interested in renting a BDSM-friendly apartment during your stay in San Francisco.
So, enjoy the fair – this is one mega event you will definitely not want to miss!