tl;dr/summary: Dore is a more gay-male, raunchier version of Folsom. See you there.
(This year’s Folsom guide will be out super-soon, for now you can look at year’s Folsom guide)
Be sure to bookmark this guide. I’m constantly updating as new events, venues, and DJs are announced.
You can always find the latest at andymatic.com/dore – just tell friends “it’s at andy matic dot com slash dore” – easy to remember!
Party grid for the weekend (so far!):
Up Your Alley? Dore? Dore Alley?
Yes, it’s true. The weekend is named for the street fair that takes place on Sunday. Most people just call it “Dore.” Rhymes with whore-y. Named for the street intersection the fair is oriented around, Dore Alley and Folsom Street. Proper usage:
- “Are you and the pups coming for Dore?”
- “Which parties are you and your Sir going to for Dore?”
- “Will you and your husband be playing separate for Up Your Alley weekend?”
- “Are you ready to hoe it up for Up Your Alley?”
- “Do you think that piece of shit George Santos will show up at Dore this year? She’ll know where the coke orgies are.”
The weekend of events is anchored by Sunday’s Up Your Alley street fair. The street fair celebrates gay kink and leather culture and is produced by the Folsom Street organization. They also produce the Folsom Street Fair in September which is an even bigger kink/leather event and bigger weekend. The difference between the two? Up Your Alley weekend is usually described as a bit kinkier/nastier, more gay male centric, and attended by more locals. You’ll have fewer tourists gawking at the zoo and more people ready to participate.
But there’s a lot more there there than just the fair.
First: Know Your History
Leather is deeply embedded in San Francisco’s history and Dore is connected to that history and pedigree. There’s always a few leather guys at even the most mainstream-y party. From Dore Alley Street Fair, a history lesson:
“The Up Your Alley Fair, wasn’t originally on Dore Alley, and it wasn’t originally ‘Folsom Street Fair’s dirty little brother’. In fact, the two fairs were originally completely unrelated to one another. The first Folsom Street Fairs were celebrations of SoMa’s neighborhood diversity whereas Up Your Alley was a celebration specifically of the gay leather community.” Read the full article…
I’ve put together a list of the many events for Dore weekend. Keep in mind this is just one guy’s opinion on what to do and where to go. I’m not a big kinkster. I don’t think I am. I’ll tie you up, spit in your mouth, smack you around, and demand you [checks notes] “Tell dad how you like to fuck.” But like, we know people that are for-real into this stuff much more intensely.
It’s all relative, I suppose. Be sure to ask other friends and acquaintances for their must-do events if this is your first Dore weekend.
I’ll include links to photo galleries for most of the events so you can get a sense for what the crowd will be like and what to wear as well as links to the DJs profiles so you can get a sense of the music.
Tuesday, July 26
Truck Tuesdays, produced by Paul Miller
“The most notorious party in San Francisco” is back. Truck was an automotive-themed LGBT dive bar in the Castro, shuttering in 2015. But producer Paul Miller is bringing that bar’s raunchy spirit back weekly to an undisclosed location.
Advanced cover to get password and location on the day-of.
Dirty Alley at Powerhouse, presented by Mr. S Leather
Now celebrating over 40 years of leather, kink, and style, Mr. S Leather is a San Francisco mainstay and globally recognized leather retailer and fetish brand. They’ll kick off the week at Powerhouse and Dore Wednesday with a night of fetish demos, sexy gogos, and [checks notes] “the trashiest bartenders in San Francisco.”
Wednesday, July 27
Thursday, July 27
Flag Alley at Theater Flamenco with DJ Hugmonster
Join the flagging, fanning, and flow community for their fifth annual event!
Flag Alley was started by the late Jeff Hettinger and his surviving husband Robert Gomez. They were one of those couples on the dance floor that glowed with so much passion and love and we always admired them.
The event still start with an open studio welcoming dance artists from all over the country – and all over the world – as part of Flagger Destination Weekend.
The hour before Flag Alley this year will be devoted to an exciting new flagging lesson from the talented and amazing George Jagatic (details).
And then the lights go dark and the blacklights go on and the DJ gets spinning!
Daniel G. Van Olst (JD Hugmonster) has been a flagger for 20 years, and is inspired and humbled by the beauty, passion, and talent he’s heard from the DJs of Flagging In The Park these last 20+ years. He is looking forward to spinning at Flag Alley and being there for the flow artist community, as they have been there for him for so long.
Wear whatever will get you in the spirit of the evening – leather, burner outfits, tie-die, or flagger-wear are encouraged – but please be aware that the space tends to be warm (upper 70’s), so dress accordingly.
There is a $5+ suggested donation.
No food allowed and only water will be available on site.
DJ Hugmonster on SoundCloud.
Friday, July 28
Prime at Midway, produced by Trophy Dad, with DJ Neon the Glowgobear
Ed, Julian, and the gang at TrophyDad will be hosting a gaggle of gogos (all required to be over 50) with a party dedicated to “men in their prime and their admirers.” If you’re feeling the need to work out some daddy issues (or work over some boys), this will be the place to be. As our friend and daddy connoisseur (papa sommelier?) Baby Jake always says, “You better check for that AARP card first.”
And it feels like we’re in a daddy moment as daddy-themed parties have flourished across the country and around the world. It seems to radiate from San Francisco for some reason. Prime party started a few years ago as just Ed throwing himself a big 50th birthday party. He had no idea it was going to become a thing. But it has! I think as the generation of men that survived the 80s and 90s is hitting their 50s and 60s they’re redefining what it is to be a gay man after 50: active, vital, confident, horny, and fun.
Prime will be situated in the more intimate Gods & Monsters room of Midway, lower ceiling, less cavernous than the main Ride space. It’s a little bit of a car ride so you’ll need to share a Lyft with some other hot guys. You’ll enjoy a world-class Funktion-One Sound System along with a heated patio cigar lounge. Check your clothes and stay late.
The crowd includes lots of guys you usually don’t usually see out and about and the music will be prime time circuit with celebratory vocals with a modern remix with resident DJ Neon the Glowgobear. DJ Neon the Glowgobear hails from the “dirty South” of Atlanta and is known for an upbeat musical style based on house music and classic tracks with a twist. For this special party, Neon will be sharing a different, darker side as he spins deep house, progressive, and electro beats that are fitting for the bad dads during this darker, sexier production. pinning deep house, progressive, and electro beats that are fitting for the bad dads during this darker, sexier production
Read more about the genesis of the Prime party in Race Bannon’s article in The Bay Area Reporter: “Celebrating Grey — the Older Kinkster”
Dress for success and reference lots of photo galleries on the TrophyDad Facebook page.
Beta at Club Six, produced by Fog City Pack, with DJs Bézier and WTCHCRFT
The pups from the Fog City Pack are back with the second installment of their annual three-party trilogy that starts with Alpha party (moved to Folsom Sunday night this year) and ends with Omega (usually before Thankgiving). In the middle – for Dore – the wild Beta party at Club Six. They’ve commandeered both the ground floor and the seedy basement of the club for your evening’s adventures. Make it hoe, but fashion, but probably more hoe.
The pup party music blend is kinda steady deep house. If you love celebratory soaring vocals – this ain’t it. The pups have always brought in fresh talent for the DJ booth. They describe the event and crowd and DJs are like, “No way, I’m so in!”
You don’t have to be a pup or into pup play to enjoy these parties and a broad swath of the city’s queerdom will be in attendance. Lots of leather and jockstraps and you’ll see pups in pup hoods.
You won’t see a lot of guys acting like literal dogs running around on the floor (that’ll be at the street fair). But guys will woof or growl at you if they’re interested. Nearly everyone checks their clothes, so plan accordingly.
The best explanation I’ve heard for the whole pup thing is its a persona to make sex fun and playful, without all the baggage and anxiety humans can add to it. There’s several packs of pups in San Francisco that function as fraternal groups supporting each other through their lives and careers. It’s just like the Elks.
Love, love, love the security at Club Six. Always friendly and happy to see us – and they adore the pups. Always get a big hug after a quick frisk. It’s staff like that that puts patrons at ease. Club Six is one of the venues in the city that allows producers to include play spaces in their marketing (though nearly every party this weekend will have somewhere in the club dark enough to seed and breed).
What the Fog City Pack has carved out for themselves, for their community, and for their city is quite remarkable, unique, and amazing. Learn more about our dear pups:
- New York Times: We Live in Packs
- Slate: Teaching Young Dogs Old Tricks
- SF Weekly: Canis Majors
- The Fight magazine: Pups in the Mist
Bézier’s (California-bred Robert Yang (they/he) productions walk the line between soft and hard, emotive and gritty with influences in braindance and IDM. His music is as carefree as it is relentless. While best known for being one of the earliest members of the queer San Francisco musical collective Honey Soundsystem, Yang also produces under multiple aliases and heads three blooming labels, Bodyzone, m-i-v (short for mémoire involontaire), and his most recent endeavor, Piece of Work.
WTCHCRFT garnered attention attention with a series of three acid-themed EPs released on Bandcamp during the pandemic. “EP 1 was really just me experimenting with the genre and how I could interpret It while trying to find my own sound, EP 2 is a lot more intentional in its themes and features more of my vocals. The theme mostly being police violence and killings of black men in the USA…ACAB Acid I made as a reaction to the history of racism that is ingrained in America and the police force, I decided to donate all of the proceeds from that song as well. ”He made his vinyl debut on I Love Acid In june of 2021, with four tracks of 303 funk – fusing UK rave breakbeats and Drexciyan electro beats against tight acid lines & snappy vocal parts. Sardinian producer Elisa Bee comes in with a four-to-the-floor remix to finish off the EP. He says “once I started making this music and learning about its roots and history, it felt like I was coming home. Like I was getting a lesson in my own history – and that just makes me that much more proud to be making the music that I’m making.”
WTCHCRFT interview in MixMag magazine: “Mystery to One: Wtchcrft’s Vocal-Driven Techno Will Put You Under a Spell”
And resident DJs
- Fawks on Instagram, SoundCloud, and his website fawkstales.com. Here’s his mix from Beta party 2017.
- Miloš on Instagram and SoundCloud. Here’s his mix from the virtual Beta 2020 party.
- Jumper on Instagram and SoundCloud. Here’s his set from the pups’ virtual Beta party last year, Omega party 2019, Omega 2018, and their 2018 Packed party.
- Astro on on SoundCloud. Here’s his mix from Alpha party 2017.
The Fog City Pack SoundCloud also has lots of mixes from past parties.
Full details on the Facebook page for the event and follow our
Ew at Underground SF with DJs Jason Kendig, Trevor Sigler, Oscar, and Five
And over at Underground SF the crew behind Ew is giving us an “alterna-queer” lineup featuring Jason Kendig, one of the founders of acclaimed music collective Honey Soundsystem plus Trevor Sigler, Oscar, and Five taking us from the evening into night.
Horse Market produced by the Stablemaster at TBD
The Stablemaster has confirmed he’s planning on having FOUR Horse Market events for Dore. Two the weekend before, and two the weekend-of.
Horse Market is a truly degenerate evening for all, inspired by Europe’s infamous Fickstutenmarkt parties (Vice article). From the site:
The mares [bottoms] arrive before the stallions [tops] and get prepared for the event. They are to strip naked, have their hands bound (lightly) and are then blindfolded. Then the stallions appear and can fully inspect the bound mares at their leisure. When a stallion has decided on a mare, he then leads the chosen mare to a place of his choice to mount. When the stallion has finished covering the mare, this mare is then available for covering by other stallions.
[scratches record, clutches pearls, drops monocle] There’s even a Best In Show designation at the end of the event because gay men have to turn everything into a
beauty pageant scholarship program.
Corazones Jovenes/Young Hearts at Public Works, produced by Nark Magazine, with DJs SASSMOUTH, KK/Nark, Kelly Naughton, Jesse Frank, and Mondo Nexus
“La discoteca trans-galáctica que fortalece el alma para todes – Corazones Jóvenes tiene sus raíces en el arte, el Disco, el baile popular, la diversidad y la unión sensual en la pista de baile.”
“A cross-generational trans-galactic soul-strengthening discotheque for all – Young Hearts is rooted in art, disco, classic dance, diversity and sweaty sęxy togetherness on the dance floor.”
跨越年代和宇宙，灵魂加强的迪斯科舞厅为人人共享 – YOUNG HEARTS 永远青春源于艺术，迪斯科和经典舞蹈，包容多样性的闺蜜基友在这舞台上享受流汗性感的同在。
Hosted by Ace Newbury (faints), West, Jefferson Mosquera, gogo pups Hilary Buff “and guest” with Viktor Belmont and Simon Malvaez at the door.
Full details on the Facebook page for the event
Stank at Powerhouse, produced by Spencer Adam and Fawk Gilić
Want a whiff? Get a waft! Everybody’s favorite gay dive bar kicks off the weekend with an evening devoted to the natural smell of men as God made ’em and as God intended.
Stop showering a couple days beforehand and hit the gym hard so you can go in perfectly fragrant (we have a couple friends who declare it “natural poppers”). Be ready to bury your face in a man’s ripe pits and enjoy the aroma and taste of the gogos as they ply their trade.
But get there before midnight so you can participate in (or just appreciate) the Ripe Pits Contest.
More details will be on Stank’s Instagram.
Pretty in Kink at Roccapulco, produced by Glamcocks with DJs David Harness and Beverly Chills
Glamcocks is one of many communities attached to the annual Burning Man event and they stay connected with events throughout the year in San Francisco. They “are a far-flung family of burners, and our gatherings strive to create a fun, energetic, body-positive, open-minded, and pro-LGBTQ+ space that invites participation and self-expression for everyone who wants to participate.”
This year they’re Pretty Ink Kink party is taking a cue from the new Barbie movie calling all the bondage Barbies, domination divas, kinky Kens and other Dore dolls to the dancefloor.
Dive doll-head-first into a playground of pleasure, where stimulation and stilettos reign supreme. Glam it up and d with your most daring pink outfits, be it glamorous latex, provocative corsets, or something stolen from Ken’s flamboyant closet.
David Harness is a veteran DJ and one of the most popular DJ/producers to come out of the Bay Area club scene. This man “lives, breathes and emanates everything that is beautiful about deep house music and classic garage.” With residencies at iconic venues like Sound Factory and Club Universe, he made his mark in the mid-90s and beyond. In 1998, he released Welcome to the Universe” an innovative album, recorded live from Club Universe, showing off San Francisco’s unique sound. He’s produced and remixed pretty much everybdody from Mary J. to Aretha. Today he remains a mainstay of the Bay Area club scene delighted dancers with his stunning sound.
Beverly Chills is a party organizer, DJ, trans activist, and performer in San Francisco California spinning at mainstay local venues like El Rio, Sullivan Room, Rickshaw Stop, The Great Northern, The Stud (RIP).
So grab your pink, unleash your kink, and let’s party like it’s Mattel’s fever dream
We will have performances, interactive art, Barbie’s secret box, coat check, and more surprises.
Saturday, July 29
Big Muscle Party at DNA Lounge, produced by BigMuscleBears.com benefitting Positive Resource Center, with DJ Paul Goodyear
I always like taking friends to this event because if you don’t know it’s happening on a Saturday afternoon, you don’t know what you’ve been missing.
Several hundred muscle guys of all sizes and stripes, and their admirers pack into DNA Lounge (founded with Netscape money and like every other big venue always at risk of closing) to have cocktails and dance and make Mary.
It’s got a fantastic vibe whether you’re in the mood to dance on the main floor, chill in the back lounges, hang out and chit-chat in the side bars, or people-watch from the wrap-around balcony.
Ron and I contend that this party usually the hottest crowd of the weekend. And some of the guys are yooooge! Like water buffalo galloping through amber waves of grain on the dance floor. It always makes me want to start a TikTok called Big Guys, Tiny Fans.
Veteran DJ/producer and house music legend Paul Goodyear will be on the main floor weaving classic 70’s Disco with House, with anything 80’s inspired, with soul, electronica, urban, pop and just about everything else (“It’s all disco as far as I’m concerned.”) Known all over the world for his distinct soundscapes and marathon 14 hour setsl he’ll be the perfect cook in the kitchen for this event..
Halfway through the party you’ll meet the men of this year’s Bare Chest Calendar. For over 35 years the annual calendar has been a huge part of the San Francisco community, raising over $3 million for PRC and its program AIDS Emergency Fund. PRC (Positive Resource Center) is devoted to providing residential treatment and supportive housing for people with mental health, substance use, and HIV/AIDS-related issues. Buy a calendar! That’s our bestie (and Mr. January last yer) Moe in the event photo above!
It’ll be bright outside and dark as night indoors so it’ll take you a bit to see once you’re in the club.
Reminder: DNA Lounge is a huge venue! It took me a couple years to realize, “Ohhh shit there’s that back bar there… and oh damn is that another bar further on back…”
So after you’ve enjoyed the main floor, go upstairs to the balcony, the side bar on the left with the windows to the street (and another DJ lineup), the bar behind that, the bar behind that (and another DJ lineup), the bar that swings around behind back into the balcony to the lounge with seating and back around to the other side of the club.
Favorite moments from past year’s is the DJ in the upper bar teasing the growling bass line for “The Humpty Dance” for about 10 minutes and you kept thinking, “Am I hearing that?” and then finally launching into the 1989 classic, then back into the usual house mix. Or in the main room a couple years ago with crowds of muscle queens chanting, “Nails! Hair! Hips! Heels!” And I have an apocryphal story of the DJ dropping in, “All I Want for Christmas,” to troll the crowd with Christmas in July.
There’s also the photo booth in the balcony (house-left) where you can get photos of your hot ass and hot-ass friends for posterity. It closes earlier than the event ends, so be sure to get up there sooner than later. If you get overheated, there are A/C vents to chill you down, right in front of the street-side balcony bar. You’ll see the vents. And come out onto the street for a vape or a smoke or to gawk at the shirrtless guys in the sun.
And don’t forget to grab pizza next door at DNA Pizza (menu) during the party or on your way out. You know these gals like to eat. The veggie slice is called Artichoke-Me-Daddy. You can go between the pizzeria and the club and even go outside for a smoke or a vape during the event – just be sure you have your wrist stamped (or wrist band). If that’s the plan, don’t wait to get in line until the end of the party, it’ll be a long line to get pizza.
Tip: This event has started selling out. And they seem to throttle entry to the club so get in line early. You can usually buy a ticket online the day-of on your phone if you need to.
Usually $15-$20 at the door but advance tickets available on the DNA lounge site, that nasty transaction fee is a doozy (and doesn’t go to the producers, btw).
Photo gallery to show you who-all’s there and what to wear in Out magazine: “109 Photos From BigMuscle Party at Folsom Street Fair”
Rated X at Space 550, produced by Ky Martinez Events, with DJs Paulo and Ale Maes
The massive Rated X party is back for its 3rd year! Ron and I will among your gracious, persuadable hosts helping to facilitate you in making regrettable life choices.
We’ve known producer Ky Martinez and his husband Juan for many years (they sat at the circuit queen table at our wedding reception). It’s been wonderful watching them go from producing their monthly House Party event at Powerhouse (every second-Saturday) to building their reputation with larger more sophisticated events like Imagina, Heaven (Dore Sunday night), and the notorious Folsom afterhours Nocturnal. Their events always draw a fantastic crowd that is a diverse, broad slice of the city’s denizens (leather, muscle, queens, queers, jocks, fairies, and all the rest) and all generations in attendance.
The Rated X party will have over a 1,000 hot men at at this Saturday main even with fetish demos and slutty gogos. Space 550 is a sprawling location with lots of nooks and crannies, so be sure to explore all the crevices you can. You’ll need to take an Uber or Lyft to get out there. Grab a bunch of guys with you in the hotel lobby and order an SUV and chat ’em up on the way there.
This is one of the best lineups of the weekend, in my humble opinion.
All Brazilian, all the time. This is the way.
DJ Paulo – knowns as the original “tribal bitch” – will be at his cauldron, playing this type of groove that makes you want to move. Aggressive and lots of drums!
And Ale Maes has become one of our good friends since we moved to Chicago. He’s got a fantastic horny dark sound that belies that cutie-pie smile.
VIP tickets are worth it for dedicated VIP coatcheck, express entry, balcony, and the [sotto voce] Pig Room.
Sneaks at Club Six, produced by Polyglamorous, with DJs Sharlese, d’Adhemar, Squish, BEYA and Mark O’Brien
Polyglamorous’ naughty sneaker fetish party returns for their Dore edition to reminds us that leather culture’s Venn diagram is broad and deep. Dress code is enforced:
- “MUST WEAR – sneakers
- DO WEAR – sports gear, singlets, mesh, underwear, knee socks, gym shorts, sweats, track suits… things that are sports-related or you might wear to the gym.
- DON’T WEAR – jeans or slacks”
The party is at Club Six, where Beta was the night before, so it, too, will have two floors with two different sounds and vibes.
The late amazing Baby Bear – and of the other Short Circuit Andys once told me what he loves about Sneaks:
“I always describe Sneaks as the queerer, more-techno/house sound of Dore weekend. It’s the ‘locals’ choice on Saturday night as far as I’m concerned. Sneaks feels home grown. It’s black-lit which has become commonplace at Polyglamorous parties. It’s a mix of leather, drag, burner [Burning Man] and queer. The biggest thing I’d stress to readers is that [lower priced] pre-sales [tickets] always go fast but there are always tickets at the door as well.”
Goddammit we miss him so much. I swear every time I am about to cross the street I hear St. Andy in my head saying, “Hold up, girl. Did you look both ways? Twice? Look again. Okay.”
Another friend described it as a “dark, sexy, disco rave for athletic fetishists in SF’s most sex-friendly club.” Take note.
Clothes check provided, venue is cash only. No cameras allowed.
Several tracks on the Polyglamorous profile on SoundCloud.
Polyglamorous producer and resident DJ Mark O’Brien on SoundCloud.
Goddamn they sold out FAST, but, “Tons of tickets available at the door – come early or late for best results.” Full details on the Facebook page for the event and learn more about the collective on the Polyglamorous Facebook page and their site.
Brut at The Great Northern, produced by Dan Darlington, with Morabito and Dan Darlington
We always have a fantastic/notorious time at Brut parties and it attracts a deliriously sexy crowd of horned up men clad in their best gear, ready for a night of dancing and carousing. What I remember most about the Brüt for Dore is how hot and steamy it gets in the club. I’m always surprised the lighting instruments don’t short out.
This year, it’s a NYC Tech House Double Feature:
Co-founder/producer Dan Darlington is always a joy to watch as he spins because he always has a huge grin on his face. He’ll sneak in a vocal after a nasty beat that can be just transcendent. Alway go down front and dance and let him know you’re having a great time.
We’ve heard Morabito several times and she’s magnificent. Morabito has dominated the dance scene for over three decades and played at pretty much every big event in the world, driving every party with a wide range of tribal, underground, progressive, and tech house into a seamless experience on the dance floor.
The party will be at The Great Northern with the high ceilings and and guaranteed low inhibitions. The Great Northern has that step down from the bar into the dancefloor. You can watch queens trip over it all night if you need entertainment. That dark far corner behind the DJ on the right can be fun. Rubber, leather, singlets, whatever… let’s see it.
Enjoy the 80,000 watt Void Acoustics sound system as it rattles your rib cage and immerses you in the music.
This year promises your timeline will never be the same after we distort everyone’s magnetic attraction! So check the Flux Capacitor and pack the DeLorean for the night… “We are going to change Father Time into Daddy Time.”
Brut featured in:
- The New York Times: Gay Leather Scene Tones Down From Hard-Core to Dress-Up
- Daily Xtra: How one leather party is taking back New York City
- Project Q: Brut muscles it’s way into Atlanta
Code at Edge, with DJ Sean McMahon
Code is The Edge’s monthly event bringing leather back to the Castro with geared-up gogos and a no-frills bar packed with congenial leather-clad gents and resident DJ Sean McMahon, spinning Code’s signature dark and cruisy beats.
Black, Brown, & Kinky at Powerhouse, produced by Onxy Northwest
The Northwest chapter of Onyx kicks off the weekend at our favorite dive-bar Powerhouse featuring sexy kinksters, jello shots, leathermen of color with geared up gogos, fetish demos and more. Photos of past events on their site.
NSA at Club OMG
The NSA honchos are back with a Dore edition of their weekly underwear party on Saturday from 10pm to 2am and then Sunday evening from 4pm to 8 and includes special ticket pricing for both events.
Promotions always promise dim lights, sexy bartenders, and a horny crowd so expect a sexy playful vibe.
Remember, OMG and Club Six are kinda in that strange hellhole block of 6th Street between Market and Mission. Keep your wits about you.
Heathens at The Eagle, with DJ Nark, hosted by Sister Roma, Mr. Pam and Beth Bicoastal
Dore Saturday marks the debut of Heathens at San Francisco’s Eagle. Promising “the party where the wild things are and even wilder things happen,” you’ll groove the beats of DJ Nark with icons Sister Roma, Mr. Pam, and Beth Bicoastal hosting the proceedings.
Full detaIls on the Facebook page for the event.
Horsemarket produced by the Stablemaster at TBD
I checked in with the Stablemaster and he’s planning on having Horsemarket events, one before Dore weekend and two the weekend-of. I don’t have full details yet. I realized the other day we know 3 of the “Best In Show Mares” (bottoms).
Sunday, July 30
Ritual at 1015 Folsom, produced by Real Bad benefitting Grass Roots Gay Rights, with Juanma Escadero
Ritual is a Sunday morning afterhours before the fair. Before the fair.
Real Bad events always have the friendliest, warmest crowd. The Real Bad org has been producing events for 30 years including their crown jewel – and literally our favorite party of the entire year – Real Bad (one of Folsom weekend’s closing parties). In 2018, they took a a risk producing a Dore aftehours…
Ritual doesn’t try to be Real Bad, Part Deux or try and mimic the surreal feel of Folsom weekend’s Aftershock party. Ritual hits a whole new chord. It has an afterhours feel but less “pots and pans” or abstract but not quite prime time circuit with vocals. The crowd was hot and horny and aggressive, the gregarious fun crowd you expect at a Real Bad event. The guys weren’t tweaking and falling over themselves and shoving you as they pass by.
Ritual is at 1015 Folsom, one of the city’s top dance temples and the same venue as Real Bad in September, but with a more intimate configuration. The balcony and upper lounges are closed off concentrating the action in the lobby and the main room with three story ceilings and signature church-style lanterns floating above the crowd.
Juanma Escudero – the first DJ to ever spin Ritual back in 2018 – is back to pound you until dawn. Proceeds to benefit the Grass Roots Gay Rights Foundation. Expect world class production, friendly and flirty hospitality, and unmatched dance floor magic, all benefiting local LGBTQ nonprofits.
And a special sweet treat when you least expect it!
Up Your Alley Street Fair, produced by Folsom Street
And then there’s the fair. We’ll probably go for a bit. It’s funny how it seems kinda normalized anymore for us to go to a street fair and see a guy chained to a telephone pole being whipped or porn stars playing Twister in jockstraps or a domme in a carriage being pulled by a quartet of human ponies or shirtless women being flogged to “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.” Like Folsom, the fair encapsulates the crazy kinky libertine spirit of San Francisco – and with Up Your Alley it’s much grittier and more queer/gay than Folsom Street Fair.
You will see people dressed in their favorite fetish attire. Some of these kinksters wait all year for events like this to strut their stuff and fly their freak flag. If you don’t like it or roll your eyes at people or can’t delight in seeing perverts celebrate their perversions, don’t be a twat about it. Get the fuck out of there and go to Woodfield Mall. Not everything is for everybody.
Full details will be on the Folsom Street website.
Romp at 1015 Folsom, produced by Brian Kent Productions and Paradigm, benefitting Folsom Street and Grass Roots Gay Rights Foundation, with DJ Russ Rich
You’re probably wondering where Play T-Dance went? Play T-Dance has been retired but in its stead – and with last year’s producers – comes a fantastic new experience.
Romp is the new official closing party of Up Your Alley. Romp continues the San Framily tradition with an evening down the rabbit hole and to a bemused t-party.
Romp will be at 1015 Folsom (you were there just this morning for Ritual).
Resident DJ/Producer Russ Rich has brewed up his unique blend of psychedelic black tea with notes of vocal house, leather, peak-time anthems, rubber, and harder, driving rhythms. Be mesmerized by mystifying performances, mind-bending visuals, and spectacular lighting & lasers. Frolic and dance once again under the disco ball in the wonderland that is our diverse community. The party benefits Folsom Street and Grass Roots Gay Rights Foundation.
Heaven at Halcyon, produced by Ky Marintez Events, with DJs Alex Acosta and Giovanni Sainz
Back for it’s third year, Ky Martinez and the gang’s got you set for Sunday night at City Nights with a Dore edition of their Heaven party at Halcyon. House Party (their second-Saturday house music event at Powerhouse) resident DJ Giovanni Sainz makes his Heaven and Halcyon Debut.
And resident international superstar DJ Alex Acosta makes a rare Dore alley weekend appearance. DJ Alex Acosta we’ve heard many times over the years in different cities and he’s always a great blend of tribal and house circuit with enough vocals to keep everyone satisfied.
You look amazing. Get photos.
You probably look foyne as fuck this weekend. You should preserve the moment. Our friend, photographer Trevor Ott will be again doing his impromptu photo shoots with the street fair as the backdrop. We did a shoot with him at Dore a few years ago (above) and had a great time. Contact him on Facebook if you’re interested and peruse his work on Instagram. One day you will look at those photos and say, “Dear God, I was a beautiful thing!”
Or a Drawing of Your Dick
The Dick Artist is going to be back in town, ready to do onsite on-demand drawings of your dick. You can reach out to him on Twitter.
Dore on a Budget
Travel, tickets, transportation, refreshments, enhancements… this kind of weekend ain’t cheap. But, if you’re trying to keep spending to a minimum:
If you feel you have to have some sort of leather on ya, grab an armband from Mr. S or one of the other stores.
Hang out at the bars in Castro and SOMA (historically known as “the Valley of the Dolls” and “the Valley of the Kings,” respectively). They’ll be packed with lots of other guys that are more into the cocktails & cruising dynamic. Most bars will have a modest cover charge.
Most of the bars are walkable from transit. If it’s super late you don’t want to be walking around too much in the dark. Keep your phone in your pocket, headphones off, and keep your wits about you. It’s San Francisco, but it’s still a big city with crazy people.
If you really have barely any money at all, you must use it to go to the fair. If ten bucks is all you have, give it to the fair and charity that is the centerpiece for the weekend.
Volunteer for events. Another way to keep costs down is to volunteer for events. For the first few years we were here, Ron and I were greeters and ticket-takers at lots of parties and that was fun because you literally meet everyone their way in and you get to put wristbands on hot guys and once your shift is over you can go dance.
Quick Run Down of FAQs
(Jump to the end of my Folsom guide for the extended set of FAQs)
- Vaccine #1: Monkeypox is back, hoes. The gays stopped it once, we can stop it again.
- Vaccine #2: Get COVID vaccinated and boosted. Get the bi-valent booster if you haven’t yet.
- Vaccine #3: Get a meningitis vaccine while you’re at it. Your local CVS, Walgreens, etc. should have it available or your primary care physician.
- Vaccine #4: Get the HPV vaccine too if you’re the right age (it’s expanded) and have coverage. HPV can lead to forms of anal cancer.
- Get STI testing 2 weeks beforehand so you have enough time to get your results and complete a round of antibiotics if needed. Get on PrEP of course if you’re negative, make sure you have enough meds in your luggage if you are. And every gay man – hell everyone – should know that undetectable is untransmittable. If you are an intermittent whore, know about the PrEP 2-1-1 “on demand” protocol (poster).
- Be gracious to security (many of them are also gay and giving up their weekend to take care of your messy friends). Always say good night and thank you as you leave.
- Thank the EMTs for taking care of our trashy brethren.
- Coat/clothes check is usually a bitch. Lines are long. Plan accordingly. We usually plan hoe-optional ensembles that are not dependent on checking shorts – and we don’t bring jackets.
- Never mix G and alcohol, or G and other depressants. Know your mLs. Just one milliliter – 1/5 of teaspoon! – can be the difference between being persuadable and having a nice evening versus your knees buckling and your friends pissed they have to take you home (or so pissed they hand you off to the EMT). When in doubt, wait an hour or stop altogether. If you forget if you already put it in that drink, throw the drink out, start again. Don’t leave drinks unattended.
- If everyone around you looks like you, go somewhere else. It’s not just a bunch of hairy white guys only interested in fucking their mirror image.
- Don’t spend a party or the fair looking for acquaintances or waiting for that one guy that you saw on the apps or that dickhead you know from Instagram. You are where you are. Be there.
- Don’t grab piercings without asking first.
- Know your hanky/armband code. Left side, top. Right side, bottom. Both sides, vers. Color chart (history). But remember sometimes yellow is just a sartorial choice.
- Fuck your fan clacking and don’t bring parasols to parties (it fucks up event photos).
- You have the right to have a fucking great time no matter how you look or how you feel about how you look. You don’t have to look a certain way to enjoy the weekend. Don’t wait until you “lose the weight” or “do a cycle” or whatever other barrier to entry you’re setting for yourself.
- Get tickets early. In SF, we buy first tier tickets early. Months early. If you have tickets you’re not using, announce they are for sale on the respective event or producer’s Facebook page. If you’re looking for tickets, same thing. If you pay at the door, you’ll pay out the ass. Watch out for scalpers online.
- If you are sober, be sure you know which Whatever Anonymous meetups are happening at all times so you can stay on the straight and narrow while being bent over.
- The week beforehand, make sure you have all your tickets. If they are in your email, use the pin/star feature to make sure they bubble up to the top or take screencaps of all your QR codes. Nothing like the, “Oh my god I bought tickets for the Folsom Brut party but not the Dore Brut, Ron’s going to kill me…” panic attack.
- And Daddy Aaron’s rule: No in-town trade when out-of-town trade is in. If you’re local, don’t make this the weekend you make it happen with that local guy you’ve been over-staring at the gym. Focus on the fresh, transient meat.
- There’s not a lot of cabs. You’ll use Lyft and Uber a lot.
- SF is colder than you think during the day it will be but you probably can leave jackets at home at night since you’ll be surrounded by hot men radiating heat.
- Save this GIF to your phone to drop in group threads when someone’s being a needy/dramatic twat:
And of course – Folsom’s rule applies to Dore:
See you on the dance floor, gentlemen…
…and ladies, and everyone else in between. It’s incredibly rewarding to have guys from all over the world say hi and say that they read my guide or shared it with friends. So, if you see us on the dance floor, say hello. Look for the complimentary Polynesian sleeve tattoos on the sexy Filipino muscle dad with the huge smile dancing with abandon and probably waving (but never clacking) a majestic fan (my husband Ron) and the semi-serious/RBF’d inked bearded white muscle daddy wolf trying to keep up with him (me).
Thanks for reading – please share!
Andy (with editing/etc. from Ron)
p.s. You can follow my writing on Facebook, Twitter, Mastodon, and enjoy cat photos, thirst pics, Ron’s Stepford streak, aggressive shirtlessness, and fear of aging on my Instagram (andymaticgram), but actually Ron posts better photos on his Instagram (ronamatic) and his account for his pandemic macaron obsession (macarons_by_ron). If you want even more reading in this vein, you can read my previous guides for Dore (2022, 2021, 2019, 2018, 2017, and the 2016 recap) and Folsom (2021, 2019, 2018, 2017, and 2014 recap). Or read about that time I turned 40 or when we got married, on the Little Gay Guide podcast, or on the Daddy Issues podcast talking about roids and racism, why gay Trump supporters are such terrible people, and being pretty vs smart. And if you’re really retro, there’s the old fashioned RSS feed for my blog at andymatic.com
p.p.s. Typos are my gift to you. If you’re eagle eye catches one, DM me on Ig or Fb.