Please click the question(s) you are interested in to read the answer.
As with all of our events, the following items are not permitted on the fairgrounds: weapons, knives, sharps, bottles, and cans.
This year in particular, we ask attendees to be considerate of the heightened sensitivity to safety concerns. As a community event, security is a community responsibility that is shared among fairgoers, vendors, law enforcement, and the Folsom Street Events Board of Directors, Staff and Volunteers.
Attendees will notice an increased presence from our private security firm at this year's events, which will include bag checks and pat-downs, as needed, for individuals wearing loose, oversized or bulky clothing. SFPD's perimeter presence will remain the same as in prior years, and SFPD will lend support inside the event only as needed. We hope that by increasing private security while continuing the same law enforcement presence, attendees will feel free and secure to come together as a community and enjoy everything that our fairs have to offer.
A: Both Up Your Alley and Folsom Street Fair are free events! At both events, The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence and our gates volunteers will welcome you and ask you for a charitable donation. Click HERE for this year’s beneficiaries. 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!
A: At Up Your Alley, over 10,000 leather and fetish enthusiasts gather for this annual celebration sometimes referred to as “Folsom’s dirty little brother.” This fair features over 50 exhibitor spaces – many with live demonstrations, hot food and cold drinks, and a dance area.
At Folsom Street Fair, nearly 400,000 members of the leather, fetish and BDSM communities gather for what can only be described as the penultimate “only in San Francisco” event. It’s huge, it’s wild, it’s crazy, it’s sexy, and it’s not for the faint of heart. Spread out over 13 city blocks, there is a massive Main Stage, featuring some of the best up-and-coming electronic and indie rock bands on the planet, as well as two huge dance areas – the Magnitude dance area (on Folsom Street at 13TH), and the DEVIANTS dance area (on Folsom Street at 8TH). Each dance area features a different kind of electronic dance music – circuit in the Magnitude area and underground house in the DEVIANTS area. Over 200 exhibitor spaces sell some of the world’s best leather and fetish gear and attire as well as some amazing adult toys and equipment. We have three food courts, loads of beer and liquor stands, and more live demonstrations that you can imagine! Don’t miss Venus’ Playground (on 9TH Street between Howard and Folsom), a space for women and genderqueer folks, the Erotic Artists’ Area (on 11TH Street between Howard and Folsom), where we feature visual artists and a live performance arts stage, and much more.
A: Yes, please come to the fair. There is much to see and learn. And, hell, you’re an adult! Sure, you can’t drink; and, please, don’t even try to. All of our beverage volunteers are LEAD-trained by an ABC-certified trainer, and you will be carded upon any and every purchase of alcohol. That said, we do have lots of non-alcoholic options (e.g., water, juice, Red Bull), and you can enjoy all of the entertainment and educational opportunities that we have to share with you.
A: If you’re traveling around the SF Bay Area (particularly from SFO or OAK), use Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART). The system is fairly convenient and reliable as well. The average cost from the airport is between $7 and $10. Within the City, you can use Muni, our municipal transportation system of railway cars, buses, and trolleys. A single ride will cost you $2. The system shuts down at night, so you may have to rely on alternative forms of transportation like cabs and/or ride services like Homobiles, Lyft, and Uber. For Magnitude, we are providing shuttle bus service from the Castro, SoMa, and downtown to the venue and back.
A: South of Market: SoMa bars like Powerhouse, Hole in the Wall, and the SF Eagle are infamous as part of the fabric of our leather scene. They each feature a particular slant on the community’s interests – Powerhouse is our traditional leather/Levi bar with lots of hosted club nights and great underground music, Hole in the Wall is the seediest of dive bars, and The Eagle features stiff drinks, rock ‘n’ roll and a sprawling patio for hot summer nights. SoMa hosts some of the best sex clubs in the world, including Blow Buddies on Harrison near 4TH. Blow Buddies features theme nights of all varieties; click HERE for a complete schedule of events.
Castro. Bars like 440 Castro (formerly Daddy’s) and The Edge make up the heart of leather Castro. Fur fans will relish in Sunday Furry Sunday or any number of other parties at 440 Castro. It’s a great “go-to” bar where you’re guaranteed a fun time among throngs of hot men. For a bathhouse/sex club experience, check out Eros on Market Street (between Church and Dolores). And, yes, that was Eros that was featured in the HBO series “Looking” – just like Folsom Street Fair! If you’re in the Castro by day, get one of THE BEST cuts, trims or shaves you’ll get in your life at Daddy’s Barbershop. The staff is one of the most talented and hottest in town.
Berkeley. Don’t miss your chance to visit the legendary Steamworks location in the East Bay. Hop on BART and make your way to this notable bathhouse, featuring hot showers, steamy saunas, a full gym, and sex mazes. Click HERE for more information!
A: As you head into the final weekend of SF Leather Week, shopping for gear and toys at Mr. S Leather is a ritual for leatherfolk from all over the world. This exciting shop will get your blood pumping and work you up for a taste of the good stuff! Then, head on down to grab a coffee and some cake at Wicked Grounds, one of the world’s only BDSM cafés. The café plays host to inspirational artwork and cultural events (e.g., music, poetry) around both fairs, so check out their website HERE.
Before you head out for a night of dancing, grab some of the world’s best barbecue at CatHead’s BBQ on Folsom (between 12TH and 13TH). Enjoy a pulled pork sandwich, jambalaya, and some of the most insanely good cornmeal biscuits in gravy. Then, get geared up for a night out on the town at BeatBox. This club has hosted some of the world’s most impressive DJs and always draws a crowd for hot, sweaty times. Check out their list of parties HERE.
The notorious Kink.com houses itself within the walls of San Francisco’s Armory. On Friday and Saturday, you have to attend BondCon. BondCon will host tens of fetish vendors, live demonstrations, and educational workshops as well as Armory Tours. And, did you know that Kink.com also owns a new bar? It’s called The Armory Club, and it’s located right across Mission Street (on the corner). For the bars line up of events, check out the website HERE.