The 2014 version of the Folsom Street Fair took place in perfect Leather weather on Folsom Street between 8th and 13th Streets on Sunday, September 21, one week earlier than the usual fourth Sunday of September. It was cloudy, not sunny, but was perfect for Leather/BDSM/Fetish/Kink/Gearfolk wearing plenty of Leather - not too cold. The Fair seemed to be crowded earlier than normal and several booths were open just after 6 PM as that usual 5 PM wind did not arrive.
The move one block west did what organizers hoped it would do. That, and the stage moved to 10th Street not far from Howard made for better viewing. The short walk from Folsom Street over to the San Francisco Eagle at Harrison and 12th Streets worked. What had been a parking lot across from the Eagle was converted into a party area with a $20 admission.
Most of the usual suspects had vendor or social booths including The Society of Janus, Steamworks, the San Francisco Bare Chest Calendar Men, Mr. S Leathers, Orchid and Serpent.
In 2014 the world's largest Leather/BDSM/Fetish event, the Folsom Street Fair, will take place on Sunday, September 21 from 11 AM to 6 PM. The Folsom Street Fair is usually held on the last Sunday of September.
Things get back to normal in 2015 with the Folsom Street Fair on Sunday, September 27.
According to Jacob Richards, outgoing Board President, “The decision to move the fair date this year was not taken lightly. When we have a conflict with Sales Force or Oracle Open World, the entire inventory of hotel rooms for the city is sold out. To avoid conflicts with other important events that bring visitors and revenue into San Francisco, we must look at the last two weekends in September. We hope that this announcement will give everyone with plenty of advance notice."
Click here for more information on Folsom Street Events.
"It was announced this morning that José Sarria, Founder of the International Court System and legendary pioneer of the Gay rights movement, has died after a prolonged illness, at home in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he had relocated. More formal and detailed announcements will surely follow, but I want my friends to know of this tremendous loss. San Francisco and the world have lost an iconic leader and I have lost a mentor and a friend." Donna Sachet, Absolute Empress XXX of San Francisco, said.
Jose's efforts effected the entire GLBT community from drag, Leather to the rank-and-file comunity. There are many medium size cities where the Imperial Court system is the community's organizational head. Everything from the gay church, drag, Leather, social organizations, bars and entertinment and media is actively-involved. In many ways the Court sytstem has been the Facebook in its own way to the LGBT community. In California, cities as small as Tulare in Central California to San Francisco, and most in between have their own Court.
Officially named Up Your Alley, but best known as Dore Alley, San Francisco hosted the 2013 version under overcast skies on Sunday, July 28. Some shirts came off and it did not stop the nudists. The City had plenty of parties all weekend.
The 15 Association drew a record 175 to its Saturday night play party at The Citadel on Saturday night. It never seemed packed because the space is so huge. There was a cigar party at the SF Eagle that filled that bar on Saturday afternoon. Other events were held at the SF Eagle and the line was long going north on 12th Street late Sunday afternoon and after the Fair was over.
We were at Mr. S Leather much of Saturday afternoon as almost all of the who's who of Leather showed up. The store was packed beyond what one would expect. The line for sales at one register was so long that some waited almost an hour for their purchases - many of which were dress and/or accessories for Sunday's Dore Alley Fair. Mr. S had free soda and beer. This party was a clear winner on any level one could imagine.
Ken Hedrick has done a magnificent job with Stompers Boots and it was evident from Noon on as there were people waiting to get in. The Dore Alley Fair started at 11 AM and the line began forming a little after that. Jeffrey Ketzler, the President of Dehner Boots visited Stompers Boots and The Leather Journal was able to meet him briefly. We think he liked what he saw.
Many of the usual suspects had booths on Folsom Street, 10th Street and Dore Alley for which the Fair is named. The Steamworks had a large crowd surrounding its stage as muscle studs entertained. Mr. S Leathers had demos going all day.
The 15 Association had a larger area on Dore Alley and made the most of it as there were chairs for releaxing and a St. Andrews cross that was in use from beginning to the day's end. Folsom Fringe was promoting Folsom Fringe which will be held in San Jose during the Folsom Street Fair Weekend in September.
The San Francisco K-9 Unit's puppy mosh pit was a big attraction as puppies and handlers had a venue for their fun. Outside an orange mesh barier, pupply play lovers watched and their cameras were busy.
There are over 200 photos in the Dore Alley / Up Your Alley 2013 Gallery. Click on Gallery at the top of this page and take a look. Register and you can order copies.
The Bare Chest Calendar Men were there hawking autographed calendars. Many of them had individual admirers. The Bare Chest Calendar Men were at other events, including some at The Edge bar bootblacking on Saturday night.
The traditional Mama's Family photo shoot was taken on Dore Alley across from the Powerhouse bar. Plenty of Mama's Family members, but Mama was not able to be there.
The official Saturday night event of Up Your Alley weekend, the Bay of Pigs, brought a huge crowd to 525 Harrison Street. The dance party went on until 4 AM with deejays Frank Wild and Eddie Martinez, sexy dancers, demos and play spaces.
There was the usual nudity and the aesthetic quality of the nudists seemed better than in recent years. The old adage that those who should never be seen nude were the ones who were, did not apply so much this time around.
The official closing party was the Play T-Dance: The Black Party at Mezzanine on Sunday night.
Talk about truth in advertising, the Folsom Street Events web site gave an accurate description of what would take place. "Up Your Alley is an unrivaled fetish fair, always on the last weekend of July in San Francisco. It's only for real players - and not for the faint of heart. There are sweaty athletes in full kit, motorcycle studs, hairy chested muscle men, spit-in-your-face punks, and Leather daddies galore. You won't find a filthier event here in the States. If you're into it, there's a scene for you at Up Your Alley. With over 10,000 sexy Leathermen, you're sure to find your match."
Hotels were booked as far away as San Jose and the rates were high. There were other events going on in ther Bay Area that helped fill the hotels. The A's were playing Oakland at the Coliseum in and the Giants were bust at AT&T Park in San Francisco. There were two huge Rock and Roll concerts, too. The lesson here is - book a room now for the Folsom Street Fair because there will be 10 times as many people.
And, if you think there was plenty to do during Up Your Alley, wait until Folsom Street Fair week. The Leather Journal will have a detailed schedule of events in the September Issue and on www.TheLeatherJournal.com We are working with Folsom Street Events and others to present a Calendar that one can have in their hands before they leave for San Francisco. Some of the biggies will be the Roll Call dinner hosted by the California B&B Corps, the Cruise of San Francisco Bay by the Golden Gate Guards, the Magnitude Dance produced by Folsom Street Events, The 15 Association play party. the Folsom Fringe bus ride up to San Francisco on Folsom Street Fair Sunday from San Jose, the raising of the Leather Pride Flag in Harvey Milk Plaza the weekend before, Mama's AIDS Walk and more.
Up Your Alley 2014 will be held July 27.
Prominent San Francisco Leather community activist Race Bannon will begin writing a new leather column for the Bay Area Reporter, the nation’s longest continually published LGBT newspaper, on January 23, 2014.
Bannon’s first column, penned while attending the annual Mid-Atlantic Leather Weekend in Washington, DC, continues the traditions started by the preeminent gay news weekly.
In his first column, Bannon wrote:
“San Francisco and the overall Bay Area has one of the most vibrant leather and kink scenes in the United States and indeed the world. Yes, it’s changed and morphed as various factors have influenced how LGBT kinky folk live and express their alternative erotic identities and sexualities. But the scene is still rather awesome here, and I’m comfortable saying it’s in pretty good shape nationally as well.
“Thus all the more reason I am honored to have been asked to carry on the legacy of the original writer of this column, Mr. Marcus (Marcus Hernandez), who established the Bay Area Reporter’s leather column as one of the preeminent leather news and information sources in the world. Upon Mr. Marcus’ passing, Scott Brogan took over this column and truly did justice to Mr. Marcus’ memory. I promise to always try to live up to both men’s history as I embark on being the caretaker of this important piece of journalistic real estate.”
Jaco: For those who don’t already know, please tell us about yourself and your connection with the Leather world.
Race: I’ve been active in the Leather scene since 1973. Initially, apart from being a bartender in a sleazy kinky bar, I was essentially a lone maverick player. Then around 1980 I got deeply involved with various clubs, organizations and projects that changed that lone wolf status. Since then I’ve been an organizer, writer, educator, speaker and activist in the LGBT, leather/kink, polyamory and HIV/STI prevention realms. I’ve authored a well-known BDSM book, been published extensively, spoken to hundreds of audiences, created the world's largest kink-friendly psychotherapist and medical referral service (Kink Aware Professionals), was a leader of The DSM Project that led to a beneficial change in the way psychotherapy views BDSM, founded a groundbreaking alternative sexuality publishing company (Daedalus Publishing Company), been an internet radio sex talk show host, received national and local awards, appeared in numerous documentaries, and currently am the Leather/kink columnist for the Bay Area Reporter http://www.ebar.comwww.ebar.com I also have a blog at http://www.bannon.com and there’s more information about me there for those who might be interested.
The SF Bay Area Leather Alliance, an all-volunteer 501(c)3, is proud to announce the opening of SF Catalyst, a new community-run educational and social space in SOMA. The 2,500-plus square foot space is now available for use by groups and organizations for events that are in alignment with the mission of The Alliance: to create a welcoming and supportive environment for members of the SF Bay Area Leather Fetish, Kink and Motorcycling communities.
Stela D. Love
San Francisco, California
Ms San Francisco
Russian River Women's Weekend
My leather motor cycle Jacket from 1996.
Is your run in April sponsored by an Event, bar, club, organization? Ms San Francisco Leather and Queers Sphere are my sponsors.
I work and produce events for both organizations.
Tell me about your favorite charity. The SF Emergency Breast Cancer Fund- http://bcef.org/about-us/bcef-story/
This is an organization that helps people who are in financial crises while suffering the hardship of breast cancer. They help with every thing from child care for parents while receiving chemo to keeping the utilities on. I have helped produce "Benefit for the Boob" for several years, for the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. All proceeds from the event go to the BCEF. This organization is close to my heart because both of my sisters are survivors of Breast Cancer. I have also lost two good friends to the disease.
Tell me in your own words how you feel about community service. It is vital to the health and well being of our communities. It is important for those of us that have the privilege and ability to help the at risk or disadvantaged. The more we contribute the stronger our community is.
What makes you a Leather Woman and/or Bootblack? Leather is in my heart and feeds my soul. BDSM is the fabric of my life weaved into every inch of my world. The smell of it does it for me in all the ways. My leather is a second skin, my armor. My leather family is my chosen family and I would not be who I am today with out them, we work hard and play harder.
Who is your favorite Leather Woman…Why? Christy Ford- She is my mentor and family. I owe her a great deal and love the influence she has on my life. Her commitment to community and truth with integrity is unwavering. She can smell bullshit a mile away and is not afraid to call it out. She is a force.
Brent Gannetta was selected as Mr. Powerhouse Leather 2012 on Saturday night at the Powerhouse in San Francisco on Saturday night, January 28.
Brent competed at Mr. San Francisco Leather in March.
Mr. Hayes Valley Michael Zane
On January 22, Marlena’s Bar in San Francisco, CA hosted the Mr. Hayes Valley Leather competition which was won by Michael Zane, with Robert Soares as runner-up.
The panel of judges included, with Mr. Hayes Valley Leather 2008 Desmond Perrotto acting as head judge, Mr. San Francisco Leather 2011 Darren Bondy, SF Dyke Daddy 2002 Vick Germany, Jacob Richards of Folsom Street Events, American Leatherboy 2011 Tyler Fong and Mark Paladini of Paladini Productions.
Photo of Michael Zane By Rich Stadtmiller
Michael works as one of the clinicians at Magnet men’s sexual health clinic in the Castro where he helps create a space that is non-judgmental, supportive of kink and fetish as well as freedom of sexual expression.
Folsom Street Events announced charitable giving in the amount of $330,745 on December 15 in San Francisco, CA. With this, Folsom Street Events cleared the $4.6 Million Mark in its 28-year giving history.
Board president Jacob Richards said, “2011 was a solid year for Folsom Street Events and our charities. We are enormously grateful to our sponsors, beneficiaries, beverage partners, and the leather/fetish community for the ongoing support. This check represents an increase from our $326,161 in charitable giving for 2010. Particularly given the depressed economy, we feel that this check is a total success.”
According to executive director Demetri Moshoyannis, “Given that we had a less-than-stellar year with respect to the weather at both Up Your Alley and Folsom Street Fair, we relied much more heavily on the successes of our Magnitude and DEVIANTS parties. The size of our check proves the potency and spirit of the Leather/BDSM/Fetish community. The vast share of the check will support our 16 Major and Supporting Beneficiaries, including AIDS Emergency Fund, Castro Country Club, Central City Hospitality House, Frameline, Project Open Hand, and Transgender Law Center, among others. Given what has been happening locally with other community organizations that distribute funds from special events, we feel particularly proud of our efforts. Combined, we are supporting over 70 great charities in San Francisco and around the U.S.”
Folsom Street Events hosted a special evening to honor its beneficiaries, sponsors, and nonprofit partners with a check ceremony at The Armory, 1500 Mission Street, well known in the Leather/BBSM/Fetish community as the home of Kink.com. Special invited guests included Supervisor Jane Kim (District 6), Supervisor Scott Weiner (District 8), and many others.
Folsom Street Events is a 501(c)3 nonprofit agency that produces seven annual fetish events: The San Francisco Party at IML, Bay of Pigs, Up Your Alley®, SF Leather Week Formal Dinner, Magnitude®, Folsom Street Fair®, and DEVIANTS™. Its mission is to create volunteer-driven Leather events that provide the adult alternative lifestyle community with safe venues for self expression while raising funds to benefit charity. In 2011, an estimated 250,000-plus event attendees raised money for charitable donations.