Party Radar

ULTIMATE PRIDE GUIDE 2020: The protests, the parties (online), the poignant posters

I’ve stayed in all Pride Week so far—and I’m already exhausted! Well, I was, until putting together this list of recommendations. Most of them can be done at home from behind your little rainbow screen (wear your masks, protesters!), but you’ll be energized, proud, and maybe even a little sweaty all the same. ALSO: Pride really is a protest right now, which is delightful. Black Lives Matter, Black Trans Lives Matter, Defund the Police, let your rainbow freak flag fly high. 🏳️‍🌈

NoLa bounce queenBig Freedia headlines Pride

First, let’s get the Big Three out of the way. SF Pride (Sat/27-Sun/28) itself has launched a very ambitious lineup of online events and performances—they are really taking it all online this year. Headliners queen of bounce Big Freedia and queen of disco Thelma Houston are a couple of the huge draws (both are fantastic live and I can’t wait to see what they do in self-isolation). There are dozens more performers, too, as well as a series of Lavender Talks to stimulate you intellectually. See the whole 50th anniversary kit and caboodle here.

The Dyke March (Sat/27)—or, for those of us who like our politics raw and radical, “real pride”—is also going digital. Check the website for full speaker lineup and other goodies. And the Trans March (Fri/26, 11am-7pm, twitch.tv/transmarch) is bursting with online energy: tons of performers, including opera goddess Breanna Sinclairé, and emcees like Mo’Nique Campbell will be on hand. More info here.

ART

“Pride Is a Protest” Poster series Wander socially distantly down Pride’s Market Street parade route and you’ll encounter a series of posters by artist Win Mixter that portray various outstanding artists, personalities, movements, and moments from San Francisco’s queer past that don’t often get the shine they deserve. Artist Jerome Caja, the Klubstitute happenings, performer Teresita La Campesina, the Center for Sex & Culture, the 1990 ACT-UP protests that shut SF down, the politically charged 1978 Gay Freedom Day Parade where the rainbow flag flew for the first time—these all get gorgeous black and white graphic treatment that reflects the deep research Mixter did in the GLBT Historical Society archives. Here is a video in which Mixter and a variety of community peeps (me included) revisit some of his subjects. This project acts as a wonderful introduction to SF’s queer history, spanning generations and identities. Take a wander-gander.

“Labor of Love: The Birth of San Francisco Pride 1970-1980” If you’re really looking for a jolt of that ol’ Pride emotion, click your mouse and your heels on over to the GLBT Historical Society’s mind-blowing online exhibit of Pride’s early history. Videos, flyers, photos and other gems from the Society’s archives illuminate how many of the arguments going on today in terms of Pride celebrations—commercialism, racism, police presence, assimilationism—have existed since the beginning, and how Pride has offered a platform to have these very public disagreements. The exhibit, put together by GLBT Historical Society Archives and Museum founding co-curators Amy Sueyoshi, Don Romesburg, and Gerard Koskovich, is a real wonder. See it here.

“Art + Pride 2020” The Harvey Milk Photo Center has put together a lively collection of photographs from several renowned collections, from the Getty Museum to the SF Public Library, as well as collections from indicvidual photographers, that tell the story of our people through the lens. Pics of the early Pink Triangle installation on Twin Peaks, a portrait of Gertrude Stein, Sylvester, Divine… everybody’s here.   There’s also film, sculpture, poetry, painting, and more to round out this lovely exhibit. See it here.

“Aquí Estamos / Here We Are” The Queer Cultural Center, which puts on the National Queer Arts Festival, hosts this series of talks and Instagram takeovers involving Bay Area and Puerto Rican artists that acts as “an act of collective solidarity, regeneration and celebration between queer artists from the Bay Area and Puerto Rico redefining the domestic space. As queers of color, re-imagining our futures includes rejecting the past as ‘the normal’ and questioning our own relationships with what is considered a domestic, private, or safe space.” See more here.

Fresh Meat Festival 2020 Watch some outstanding archival performances over the weekend of some of the Bay Area’s fabulous transgender and queer players, in the 19th installment of this fantastic fest. Shawn Dorsey Dance, Shawna Virago, Star Amerasu, AXIS Dance Company, kNOwSHADE Vogue Ensemble, and so many more. Take a look.

Frameline Film Festival The largest and oldest LGBTQ film fest is, naturally, taking place online this year—but it’s jam-packed with things I can’t wait to see. You can read our full preview guide here, as well as interviews with actor Jacki Weaver from Stage Mother and the directors of an awesome new documentary about Curve magazine, which was my lesbian style bible in the ’90s. Here’s a link to the festival itself.

PROTESTS

“Unite to Fight: People’s March and Rally” I love how, after all its controversies, Pride is in fact getting rebooted by COVID to become a Black Lives Matter/Abolish the Police protest. This action, led by drag activists Alex U. Inn and Juanita More goes right through the Polk, one of SF’s early gay neighborhoods, reclaiming it for queer liberation. “We will roar our voices in solidarity with our Black, Brown, Indigenous Trans and Queer family, friends, lovers, and neighbors. We stand in protest of racial injustice, police violence, unjust healthcare, and inadequate unemployment relief. We demand changes!” Wear a mask! Sun/28, 11am-3pm. More info here.  

 

“Pride is a Riot” Also happening on Sunday, but at Dolores Park, is this action explicitly calling for abolishing the police. “We will gather to honor LGBTQ freedom fighters who came before us, to call for the liberation of Black, Brown and Indigenous people, and to demonstrate that trans and queer people are in this fight. It is not enough to demand police out of Pride. We want police out of schools, police off our streets, police out of all communities. Defund, Dismantle, and Abolish the police!” Sun/28, noon. 

“Marsha P. Johnson Solidarity Rally” Honoring the early trans LGBTQ civil rights leader, this gathering at the AAACC is also on Sunday. “At this moment in history it is imperative that we are holding space for the voices of Black Trans community and also making space to LISTEN to our Black trans family. Join us in the historic Fillmore district as we open the space and make our demands for justice heard. We will also be unveiling the AAACC’s new Black Trans Lives Matter Mural.” Sun/28, 11am-2pm. More info here.

Bustin Out: Party Against The Prison Industrial Complex! This annual gathering against the carceral state (benefiting the Transgender, Gender-Variant, Intersex Justice Project aka TGIJP) usually features DJs and dancing—but “this Pride season we want to create a virtual space for our San Francisco family and beyond, to party against the prison industrial complex with a goal of $60,000 to support Black trans women, currently and formerly incarcerated folks and our futures. We will be showing two amazing films by two phenomenal Black trans filmmakers, Ahya Simone and Tourmaline. After the screening there will be a Q&A with Ahya Simone and Bré Rivera, hosted by Janet Mock.” Sat/27, 5pm. More info here.

PARTIES 

Juanita More

PRINCESS Juanita More, Merrie Cherrie, and Sister Roma invite you to this country spanning drag show, with queens beaming in from SF, LA, NYC, and beyond Uranus! The fabulous Kochina Ruse and Lisa Frankenstein host the cavalcade of lip-sync, and it all benefits the Tenderloin Transgender District Fund. Thu/25, 7pm. More info here

Virtual Nightlife: PRIDE I adore the annual Cal Academy Nightlife party dedicated to Pride—who doesn’t like cute science geeks mixing with drag queens in a huge natural history museum? Heklina hosts this edition, per usual, with music, cocktail demos, science facts galore, and 500 Queer Scientists, a community for queer scientists (and their admirers?) Thu/25, 7pm. More info here.   

Electroluxx Virtual Pride Party The art- and leggings-packed party fills venues to bursting. For 2020 they’ve got the giant venues—Midway and Public Works—and a lineup packed with DJs: You’ll just have to pop on that unicorn horn and join in from home, no problem! Fri/26, 7pm-2am. More info here

T4T + Frameline Present: An Official Transtastic Afterparty Showing at the Frameline film fest, “Transtastic is “a crop ​of 8 fresh short films represents a brave, vulnerable and authentic celebration of trans and nonbinary folks.” And this is the online afterparty to celebrate! A host of entertainers and DJs highlights the trans power and wonder in our community. Fri/26, 10pm-1am. More info here.

Mr. S Leather’s Virtual Pride Jockstrap Party With all the sexy activism that’s going on, I almost forgot the sexy sexiness of Pride! (It seems so distant somehow, no? Let’s mash it back together.) Mr. S is hosting this little show-off event. “Strip down to your jock and get down and dirty with us! We might not have the opportunity to get together in person but that’s not going to stop us from throwing our infamous Pride Jockstrap Party.” Sat/27, 1pm-4pm. More info here.

Oasis Pride Drag Show Heklina, Glamamore, Gina LaDivina, D’Arcy Drollinger and more favorites head up this marathon of Drag with a capital D. Plus: Alaska Thunderfuck and Bob the Drag Queen from RuPaul’s Drag Race? Well, all righty then! Sat/27, 7pm-9pm. More info here.

Drag Alive Queer Liberation The Stud’s insanely entertaining (look, I’m biased, but I lap it up every week!) Saturday online dragstravaganza flies over the rainbow and onto your iPad—plop—for Pride. There are zillions of my favorite performers and one of the actually best DJs in the world, Bezier, will be providing delightfully dark tunes. I can’t wait for this, please check it out. Sat/27, 6:15pm. More info here.    

InterGlow Queer Burning Man institution and slutty philanthropic superstars Comfort & Joy present this virtual version of their infamous “Afterglow” parties—and it’s a fundraiser for the National Black Justice Coalition. House legend DJ David Harness headlines, with lots more on the glowing platter, including “fiery yet hopeful” frag performances. Sat/27, 9pm-12:30am. More info here

DJ David Harness

Mighty Real Pride Livestream Party All the dancers will be up and at ’em for this one, full of incredible local DJ legends and some real deep house beats. David Harness, Mr. V, Homero Espinosa, Nina Sol, and more support the SF AIDS Foundation. It’s a party, y’all. Sun/28, noon-7pm. More info here

Indie Oasis Pride 2020 This is usually one of my favorite stages at the Pride celebration—who can resist all the young queers popping off to the indie dance classics of our sodden youth? This year, DJs Candy, Netik, Blondie K & Sub0ctave, Starr Noir & Bit will be streaming all your indie hits from the Cat Club—and you can dance along on the Twitch machine. Sun/28, noon-pm. More info here

Stud Pride Sunday After you march or protest or Zoom or simply twirl around your garden, join us at the Stud for some thrilling techno tunes from some of my favorite DJs—LadyRyan, Clark Price, and Baronhawk. They are adorable! Sun/28, 5pm-11pm, www.twitch.tv/dragalive

Grassroots Queer Nightlife Fund raises $160K in aid for workers

Juanita More will DJ online Fri/1 in support of the Queer Nightlife Fund.

In a major example of how the Bay Area is coming together in a vacuum of political leadership and billionaire donors to take care of its own, the Queer Nightlife Fund announced today that it had raised $160,000 in funds through online efforts—and would begin disbursing grants to 176 local workers.

The recipients are mostly nightlife performers, staff, and others who rely on tips and wages which disappeared overnight in the wake of the March 13 COVID shutdown of bars, nightclubs, theaters, and restaurants. (Some performers have been able to eke out tips on streaming platforms, but this barely covers expenses of living here.)

The QNF, itself formed by a consortium of DJs, performers, and longtime nightlife personalities—plus Spencer Watson of the Center for LGBTQ Economic Advancement & Research—uses weekly streaming  Sunday Quaran-Tea dances and other online events to help raise tax-deductible donations for the project. (Recent Quaran-Tea dances have included a wide range of local wonders, from the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence’s Hunky Jesus contest and the Flagging in the Park community to a recent installment that highlighted transgender DJs.)

“I’ve been overwhelmed by the community’s support for the fund,” QNF steering committee member and Polyglamorous DJ Mark O’Brien told me. “The QNF working group has been meeting 6 days a week since March 14, and it’s exciting to see our first campaign finally come to fruition. Thanks to the generosity of our donors, we’ve helped a lot of folks in queer nightlife. We are going to keep on working at this, because the need is definitely still there.”

That need has convinced the QNF to continue its efforts. “This marks a major milestone for the QNF,” Watson says. “The shelter-in-place order has been extended through May, and all of our major queer holidays have now been canceled through the fall, including Pride and Folsom Street Fair. It remains uncertain when our vital cultural institutions can reopen and when we can again gather in person as a community. Therefore, the QNF has recognized the need for a second fundraising campaign and a new round of grant applications.”

That renewed effort kicks off Fri/1, 8pm-10pm, with a special DJ Friday Night Jam by drag goddess Juanita More and the fabulous Chrissy, and continues Sun/3, 1pm-6pm, for another Quaran-Tea dance, this one featuring the progressive sounds of longtime DJs Susan Morabito, Steve Sherwood, and the PLAY T-Dance party crew.

You can donate to the Queer Nightlife Fund here and apply here.

SF QUEER NIGHTLIFE FUND UPDATE, MAY 1

The San Francisco Queer Nightlife Fund is proud to announce that we are now disbursing grants from our first round of applications.

From March 16 to March 31, 2020, we received applications from 258 nightlife workers, of which 176 met our eligibility criteria. Applications were evaluated anonymously by an internal team of steering committee members and then underwent an auditing process to ensure integrity. Grant amounts were determined based on need, and all recipients are currently being notified.

This marks a major milestone for the QNF! The shelter-in-place order has been extended through May, and all of our major queer holidays have now been canceled through the fall, including Pride and Folsom Street Fair. It remains uncertain when our vital cultural institutions can reopen and when we can again gather in person as a community. Therefore, the QNF has recognized the need for a second fundraising campaign and a new round of grant applications.

Our first campaign has been incredibly successful. In only a little over a month, we raised approximately $160,000—almost entirely from individual donations. We have established new community rituals, including the weekly Sunday Quaran-Tea Dance, streamed live on Twitch and Zoom. These new rituals and the success of our fundraising efforts have revealed the strength and resilience of our community and have given us all hope for the future. Our commitment to the community remains stronger now than ever before.

Stay tuned shortly for our announcement of the opening of our second round of grant applications.

If you continue to have a reliable source of income, please consider donating to the fund, and consider making your donation weekly. The performers, artists, bartenders, and behind-the-scenes workers who make the nightlife magic happen in the SF Bay Area need our continued support in this extraordinary time.

Tune in THIS WEEKEND to two events:

Friday at 8 PM PDT, the San Francisco Bay Area Queer Nighlife Fund is proud to present a special Friday night soiree featuring music from San Francisco matriarch Juanita More, who also serves as a member of the SF QNF steering committee. She’ll be gifting us with some fantastic beats to kick off the weekend. Also joining us is Chrissy, a genre-bending DJ and prolific producer, whose latest 12′′ was released last week on Dansu Discs.

Sunday from 1-6PM PDT, join us for our seventh Quaran-Tea! This week the SF Bay Area Queer Nightlife Fund joins forces with the legendary PLAY T-Dance. Since 2001, PLAY T-Dance has been giving folks in the Bay Area the occasion to flirt, frolic and dance to their favorite tea dance music. PLAY T-Dance has become renowned for its unique and engaging themes, abundant hospitality, unrivaled production value and the most uplifting and energetic music on the planet.

For now, stay safe and healthy, and SEE YOU ON THE VIRTUAL DANCEFLOOR!

Sincerely,

The SF Bay Area Queer Nightlife Fund

Hunky Jesus rises again! (Blessedly online)

Photo by Jere Keys

UPDATE: It looks like they are going to be releasing the photos and videos starting at 1pm at www.twitch.tv/sfqueernightlifefund and you can vote at www.instagram.com/sfsisters then. 

One of the best things to come out of this awful nightmare is seeing everyone rush to help each other, leaping into the vacuum of economic leadership and tackling the grand scale of this situation’s disruption.

Case in point: What on earth and in heaven was gonna happen to the Hunky Jesus contest, one of San Francisco’s most celebrated traditions, now that the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence’s Easter with the Sisters has been postponed? Why, one of the most sequined, glittered, fan-waving, pec-revealing crossovers in history, of course.

The always charitable Sisters have teamed up with the Queer Nightlife Fund to present the contest online, and you can get an eyeful when they broadcast the (virtual) competition Sun/12, starting at 10am on the Sisters’ Instagram and continuing that day during the Queer Nightlife Fund’s weekly “Quaran-Tea” dance, 1pm-6pm at www.twitch.tv/sfqueernightlifefund–you do not need accounts on either to view, but you do need to sign up/log in and follow the Sisters on Instagram to vote. Plus you get the Foxy Mary competition, too! And, anyone can enter from throughout the US, so get ready for some wildcards.

Potential Hunky Jesi and Foxy Marias submit a photo in character and a one minute video featuring their “Holy Inspiration” in action. The deadline to submit entries is Fri/10. Viewers vote on their favorites during the day, and may the best man-god and virgin(?) win!

The contest typically draws 10,000+ people to Dolores Park. But, like everything else, this year is different. “San Francisco audiences are smart, sophisticated, and have a very twisted sense of humor,” head nun Sister Roma says on the Sisters site. “You can’t just be HUNKY or FOXY to win the title. Our crowd responds most enthusiastically to contestants who have a clear concept, a clever message, and excellent execution.” More info here.

2018 photo via Alex Mak and Broke-Ass Stuart

The collaboration highlights the work of the Queer Nightlife Fund, one of the many community resources that leapt into action once San Francisco effectively shut down. Formed by a consortium of party promoters, leather community leaders, DJs, and at least one financial expert (Spencer Watson of the Center for LGBTQ Economic Advancement & Research), it’s raised more than $117,000—including $10,000 from the Sisters themselves—that will be distributed in $1000 grants to queer applicants who have lost their nightlife jobs.

Organizer Phil Hammack of the Fog City Pup Pack told me, “The QNF came about just before the SF shelter-in-place order first took effect. I started to see tons of events getting canceled in our nightlife community, and it was clear bars would be closing down for a while as well. I reached out to a group of community leaders to brainstorm how we might help.

“Our concern was especially for the individuals who work in nightlife who might not be protected by employment status within a venue—for example, drag performers, lighting and production designers, dancers, etc. But we were also concerned for bartenders, servers, coat check staff. All of these individuals are vital to our nightlife culture, and we were concerned about how these individuals would subsist with their incomes vanishing overnight.

Photo via the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence by Jere Keys

“Knowing how central nightlife is to the queer community, we thought the concept of a ‘giving circle’ where community members could donate and those in need could apply for funds would be an ideal resource for these workers, and such a fund could play a role in preserving our nightlife cultural institutions by providing some economic security or assistance to the individuals who make these institutions happen. The need is huge.”

The QNF has just signed a fiscal sponsorship agreement with the Q Foundation, which focuses on housing and economic needs of LGBTQ+ and HIV+ people in San Francisco, and now all donations are tax-deductible. QNF is currently reviewing 258 applicants and hoping to raise more than $200,000. So vote, dance, donate, and—of course—don’t forget to fall on your knees before your savior! (Once those pesky social distancing rules are gone.)

Party Radar: Fault Radio helps DJs stream through quarantine

If, like me, you’re “into” nightlife and music, your social media feed has flipped almost instantaneously into a multi-roomed nightclub, with DJs and musicians streaming live sets, friends recommending playlists, and drag queens lip-syncing for their lives (and hopefully tips).

This outpouring/overload of entertainment has affirmed dance music’s joy, connection, and necessity—not to mention the Internet’s—in this time of uncertainty and isolation. There’s far too many DJ sets to choose from right now, it seems, which leads to a giddy delight while you’re bopping on your sofa. Of course, there’s an element of concern involved as well, as most DJs have suddenly had their livelihoods eviscerated and are trying to find new income, er, streams.

But you can’t stop the dance. Everyone from hometown heroes like Jenö, celebrating founding SF rave collective Wicked’s 29th birthday, to international techno epicenter Resident Advisor’s Club Quarantäne, a marathon of underground talent, and the Sunday Quaran-Tea dances, bringing together a gaggle of queer DJs to benefit the Queer Nightlife Fund, are up in your socials.

This sudden concentration on the Internet may seem novel, but the folks at local streaming DJ site Fault Radio were way ahead of the coronavirus curve when it came to visual club-hopping. Launched in 2018 by two nightlife savvy emigrés from Tel Aviv, Dor Wand and Dundee Maghen, Fault Radio surfaces some of the best DJ talent in beautifully produced live videos, recorded at various locations around the Bay. Fault Radio’s archives are a treasure trove of sounds both familiar and new, lovingly archived and presented by two people who care deeply for our delicate yet thriving scene.

When I interviewed Dor and Dundee a few weeks ago, before the full force of COVID-19 hit, we excitedly talked about how Fault Radio was helping to increase the Bay Area’s international profile—while documenting the diversity that still exists in dance music scene holding on in a very expensive and rapidly homogenizing environment.

They were looking forward to their huge Shifting Plates Record Fair, this year in partnership with popular crowdsourced record database Discogs, which was to draw dozens of vendors and hundreds of participants to Classic Cars West in April. They were also recording sets at Vinyl Dreams record store in the Haight, which is owned by one of the godfathers of the local dance scene, Mike B (no relation).

We had absolutely no idea that soon the outbreak would shut down all the clubs, bars, concert venues, record stores, and gathering places in the Bay Area—pretty much leaving Fault Radio the only operating established  “nightclub.” (The Shifting Plates Record Fair has been postponed until June 7.)

“We’ve been very wavy emotionally, like everyone else,” Dundee told me in a follow-up call after the lockdown. “We had a few hard days, but we’ve shifted to working on initiatives to support the community, which is helping to keep us focused.”

“There was an advantage to being from somewhere else, we saw what was happening there before it came here,” Dor added. “So we had a little cushion of knowing what to expect. We had a few days lead time to think about how we could support and elevate the scene here before the impact.”

Those initiatives are pretty exciting. First, the pair have opened up broadcasting on the Fault Radio site to anyone with their broadcast from home “Relief Sessions.” You fill out a quick survey to apply, and they teach you the fundamentals of streaming remotely—perfect for DJs who are new at it.

“This outbreak is causing so much isolation, that we want to make it as easy as possible to connect with other people online, in the best way,” said Dundee. “Streaming is now a commodity, a way to earn a living, and we want to offer our experience in this way to help.”

“When everyone started streaming on Facebook and other sites, we knew that there would be huge differences in quality, in terms of the sound, the lighting, and other things you only know from doing it a hundred times,” said Dor. “Many people are dealing with this technology for the first time, so we want to help bring everyone up to a similar level.”

To this end, Fault is also offering “Stream-Kits” to be delivered to DJs’ homes, with everything they need to set up and stream. (Fault Radio archives and promotes the stream on their site, as well as their Soundcloud and Youtube.) “The box has various equipment inside to upgrade your streaming—maybe even something alcoholic,” Dor laughs. “When you receive it, we can hop on a video call with you and help you through the process. We just announced this, and already we’ve had interest from people in London, Budapest, Istanbul…”

But their heart remains with the locals. “Even with every one on lockdown, there’s still things happening.  There’s still a scene,” Dundee said. “Now the biggest challenges that we’re dealing with is, you’re feeling very isolated from your community. Even if you are documenting yourself, it feels isolated. This is our way to make the music scene still feel alive.”

Find out more about Fault Radio’s relief session and watch DJ sets here.

Comedowns are for losers! New Year’s Day parties

New Year’s Eve 2020 is a very big deal. Yes, yes, it’s the beginning of a decade (although that’s controversial), and hopefully an end to the horrific orange streak in Washington. But more than that, it is the perfect year for those glasses everyone wears with the year on them.  Two eye-holes!

And of course there’s no shortage of ways to spend the evening, popping your cork at celebrations huge (Crystal MethodClaude Von Stroke, BonoboGryffin and Testpilot, Afrolicious, Laidback Luke, Mark FarinaBenny Benassi—wow a lot of sausage on the list this year) and much more intimate (come dance all night with me at the Stud, hang with some fierce Tenderloin drag queens at Aunt Charlie’s, get jazzy with a true legend, party and play at a cute arcade, or experience bone-shaking techno in a tiny room).

But NYE is more about the amateurs—the real partiers will greet the dawn by adjusting their sparkly antlers and charging into the afternoon through evening, possibly also Thursday. It’s just how we do. Here’s a quick list of goings on New Year’s Day. Take a little sponge bath, have a little tea, and let’s go out again. (Please be careful with any party favors!)

It’s a new day, baby!

> IT’S A NEW DAY/BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS I don’t know when this party became a mashup with a highly encumbrent name, but the Space Cowboys are back with their enormous, all-day block party, bringing together Burners, ravers, and a fair share of sparkling zombies. I think this is their second decade doing this? “Featuring over 70 djs from across the world, 7+ full stages, amazing food vendors, clothing vendors, interactive art and lots of fun surprises!” 4am-9pm, $20-$80. Great Northern, SF. More info here<

> FRESH START The Midway in the Dogpatch has become one of our essential big room clubs in the past couple years, with major players indoors and out. This bash features more techno than you can shake your party popper at, with Claptone, Moon Boots, Walker & Royce, Elax of Boyz Noise, J.Phlip, and many more. 4am-8pm, $35-$90. The Midway, SF. More info here

> 2020 POLAR BEAR SKATE Perhaps you’d rather flaunt your endurance in a more public place, with skates on? For your fuzzy onesie (or little else) and hop into the Union Square rink for the annual afternoon New Year’s Day skate and some groovy music. They sell wine and beer at the cafe next door! 2pm-3:30, $13-$18, all ages. Union Square, SF. More info here

> NEW YEAR’S DAY SILENT DISCO + BEACH YOGA Out of the cellars and onto the beach! How about a nice shot of renewal, with the Silent Disco crew (they’ll supply the headphones and groovy beats) and some rejuvenating yoga with instructor Julianne Aiello. 3pm-4:14pm, $5-$28. baker Beach, SF. More info here

> BRASS TAX SUPPER OF SURVIVORS RIP to the infamous glitter cannon at this annual tradition, bu there are still a ton of local DJs, fantastic costumes, and just an overall feeling of good ol’ Bay Area mischief. Plus: a triage station to help your hangover, larger-than-life visuals, and, yes, supper: “cheeseballs, bacon, nachos, and a whole swanky spread of new suppertime treats at the Brass Tax Snack Shack to keep your engine humming!” 3pm-midnight, $15-$20. Public Works, SF. More info here

DJ Minx always brings the party.

> SUNSET SOUNDSYSTEM NEW YEAR’S DAY AFTERPARTY A legendary rave crew takes over from Breakfast of Champions for an after-after-after-party—a unicorn!—with DJs Solar and Galen + ppecial guests: Anthony Naples (Incienso, Nowadays – NYC), Dj Minx (Women On Wax – Detroit) DJ Three (Hallucienda – USA) and Qzen (Berlin). What a lineup (DO NOT MISS MINX). 8pm-3am, $20-$70. Great Northern, SF. More info here

> HOUSEPITALITY The cherry on your 2020 cake, this beloved weekly dance party fall right where we want it—just as we’re about to finally pass out. One more go! Featuring awesome resident DJs in both the front and back rooms, this will be a perfect local finish to your Bacchanal. 9pm-2am, free before 10pm with RSVP here, $10 after. F8, SF. More info here

Party Radar: A monster mash of Halloween bashes

Heklina performs at Creatures of the Night at Cal Academy of Sciences, Thu/24

While hardly as wild as it used to be, Halloween is still a hoot in this devilish town. Let us never forget the  year (1982) when the Bay Guardian combined its election issue and its Halloween issue, celebrating the infamously gay Halloween in the Castro by portraying Board of Supervisors candidate Sister Boom Boom as a flying witch on the cover. (Nowadays our candidate choices are a bit less flamboyant.)

Good times. Now here are some tips. For a real Halloween experience, head to Aunt Charlie’s Lounge starting this weekend with the Hot Boxx Girls drag shows and through the week to Halloween night’s Tubesteak Connection party. It’s truly one of the last fabulous gay dive bars that really gets into the Halloween spirit. There are a ton of great terror flicks happening (from Get Out with the SF Symphony to “The Horror of SF Jazz at Grace Cathedral”)—here’s our full Halloween movie roundup.

One hallowed tradition, the annual Cramps concert, has obviously evolved as Cramps members have made their way to the other side of the void. But the ghost of this grand event stays undead, with the Cramp-Ons tribute band playing Sat/26 at Bender’ss and, in the same psychobilly/horror punk vein, the Misfits tribute band The Astrozombies playing Thur/31 at the Chapel.

Also on the concert tip—and it will be a dance party—is there anything more nominally appropriate than synthpop duo Holy Ghost’s three day residency at The Independent, Wed/30-November 1? Well, maybe “Unholy Ghost” but we’re sure these razor-sharp New Yorkers will make that joke at some point. And finally, an unironic All Hallow’s Eve concert called “Calling All Witches: Songs of Protest, Praise, and Magick” at the Lost Church Thu/31, which is perfect.

And for the scariest time of all, of course, don’t forget to scream your way through Peaches Christ’s “haunted immersive experience” Terror Vault! (through November 10). PLUS! Don’t miss one of our best and campiest drag personalities play the role she was born to play, Dr. Frank N. Furter, in Ray of Light Theater’s Rocky Horror Show, through November 2.

Finally, start the week on a truly horrifying foot: We are losing one of our best DJs, Jackie House of Honey Soundsystem, to Berlin—but first a night of psychedelic ambient music at the cavernous Gray Area, with Jackie House’s Ambient Goodbye on Fri/25. There’s nothing scarier than seeing might lifers cry!

THIS JUST IN! Best of the Bay’s Best Drag Queen Juanita More is hosting a block party Thu/31, 7pm-10pm, in the Polk, which used to be the epicenter of San Francisco queer culture, and where many momentous events occurred. “The event will feature live music by IndiviDúo, dancing, food and drink, a costume contest, and a photo booth! The event will be free and open to the public.” You can support a ton of local business in the area, too.

ALSO JUST IN Why go home at all? You can literally attend a week’s worth of Halloween parties at DNA Lounge. The five-party Halloween multi-pass “includes admission to our full week of Halloween festivities: Death Guild, All Hallow’s Eve, So Stoked, Booootie, and Turbo Drive! Because we go hard on Halloween and so do you. Limited quantities available!” More info here and check out the full DNA calendar here.

Here are some other bloody good spots to celebrate:

The Cockettes

THU/24 LES GHOULS ENCORE! After you attend our free Best of the Bay party, stay for this outrageous celebration of legendary lysergic theater troupe The Cockettes’ epic Halloween show Les Ghouls. Drag queens, performers, and DJs all pay tribute. 10pm-2am, The Stud, SF. More info here

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FRI/25 SMITHSFITS HALLOWEEN EDITION  I mean, this party plays all Cure (Robert Smith), all Smiths, and all Misfits. And it has been popular for nine years! Nothing beats our nightlife. Dress up in a costume for the contest. 9:30pm-2am, The Knockout, SF. More info here

FRI/25 MASQUERADE BALL WITH THE MAGICIAN Smooth and sophisticated Belgian electro-pop wizard Stephen Fasano, aka The Magician, brings his magic touch to this Halloween blowout at Mezzanine, which is closing soon (booooo). 9pm-late, Mezzanine, SF. More info here

FRI/25 STRANGER THINGS GO BUMP IN THE NIGHT This Halloween party’s theme promises a “1980s-era land of supernatural phenomena.” The night will be perfectly soundtracked by moody, melodic Kentucky producer, Amtrac, and wiggy Canadian house DJ, Eddie C — plus enough local support to fill the Upside Down. 9:30pm-late. Great Northern, SF. More info here

FRI/25 PAUL OAKENFOLD The absolute legend of progressive trance grooves who’s shaped the genre for more than three decades and headed the legendary Perfecto label, pops in for a Halloween party? We have it so good. 9:30-2am, Audio, SF. More info here

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SAT/26 HORROR STORY: DARK MATTER Two of our big gay parties with Burning Man roots, Polyglamorous and Mystopia, team up for a journey into (I think) space and terror, but expect lots of shirtless revelry, unicorn horns, and sparkly leggings. The music—by Portland’s DJ Sappho, Chicago’s Colette, and DJ Rolo—will be terrific. 9:30-late. 550 Barneveld, SF. More info here.

SAT/26 CREATURE: NEON DEMONS A creepy cavalcade of drag and gory-glorious music at this wonderfully open affair at El Rio. There will be horns sprouting out all over! 9pm-2am, El Rio, SF. More info here.

Glow in the Streets

SAT/26 GLOW IN THE STREETS There’s still some of that Castro Halloween spirit floating around—this exuberant neon-wow block party put on by queer Burning Man camp Comfort & Joy will light your way to Hallo-bliss. With DJs, performances, and more. Noe Street between Market and Beaver, SF. 4pm-9:30pm. More info here

SAT/26 MOTHER: HALLOWEEN, A PARTY Drag behemoths Heklina and Peaches Christ host this annual, beloved affair with oodles of drag queens spilling out in all directions. 10pm-3am, Oasis, SF. More info here.  

SAT/26 SPACE COWBOYS: HAUNTED HOEDOWN One of the original Burning Man camps, Space Cowboys have been throwing wild parties for decades. This Halloween mashup of burner rager and audio-visual overload brings house, breaks, funk, and world-renowned DJ headliner, A.Skillz. 10:30pm-late, Great Northern, SF. More info here.  

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SUN/27 SUNSET SOUND SYSTEM HALLOWEEN COSTUME BOAT PARTY This annual wild float and its afterparty at the Great Northern will be your best bet to hear some outstanding techno, with guests Wajatta, Tel Aviv’s Autarkic, and a special synthesizer seance with ambient masters Jonah Sharp and Its Own Infinite Flower. 5:30pm-11pm, San Francisco Belle, Pier 3. More info here

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MON/28 DEATH GUILD: THE DARKEST NIGHT Um, this is the oldest weekly party in the city and the second-oldest goth party in the world—you probably don’t want to miss its Halloween celebration. With DJs Decay, Joe Radio, and Melting Girl plus a special sexy-scary performance by Hubba Hubba Revue. 9pm-afterhours, DNA Lounge, SF. More info here.

MON/28 DOG COSTUME CONTEST & HALLOWEEN PUB QUIZ “7pm: gather, drink, make merry, get excited. Virgil’s Sea Room has a fabulous patio where you can chill with your doggo before the event. 7:30: DOG COSTUME CONTEST!! Red carpet, weird prizes, edible participation trophies! On-leash doggos and their human escorts will prance on the catwalk and compete for ETERNAL GLORY. 8pm: PUBQUIZ O’CLOCK! Teams of 1-6 players will compete for free drinks and strange prizes over five delicious rounds of trivia, including current events, general knowledge, a music round, Halloweeny witchy weirdness, and the powernerd challenge. Human costumes will be judged and awarded during the game. 7pm, Virgil’s Sea Room, SF. More info here.   

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WED/30 HOUSEPITALITY HALLOWEEN W/ DAN BELL One of SF’s best weekly parties brings in a Detroit wizard of techno, Dan Bell, sure to wreck the floor with his decades of DJ sorcery. 9pm-2am, F8, SF. More info here

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ESG

THU/31 ESG Hell yes! The dance music legends from the South Brownx invented their own kind of underground jam in the ’80s—they still rock live, get ready to dance. 9pm-late, Public Works, SF. More info here

THU/31 IN YOUR DREAMS: A NIGHTMARE ON NINTH STREET A dastardly drag and dance marathon at the Stud, with DJ Keenan Orr from DC and Rich King from NYC. 1, 2, gonna cut it up with you … 8pm-2am, The Stud, SF. More info here

THU/31 CYBER RODEO HALLOWEEN: GRAVE RAVE The cyber rodeo crew combines cowboy aesthetics with rave rumble — not unlike the Space Cowboys, maybe, but with a wilder music. Yee-haw! With DJs Kawasaki + Baby J. 9pm-2am, F8, SF. More info here

THU/31 ALL HALLOW’S EVE “If there was ever a holiday created just for DNA Lounge that holiday is Halloween, and this is our eighteenth spoooooky year throwing this party! We’re bringing you a double-sized Halloween madhouse in all four rooms! Bewitching burlesque, ambient ghostly aerialists, skillful circus syrens performing all night….” Plus a plethora of DJs. 9pm-afterhours, DNA Lounge, SF. More info here

THU/31 SPOOKY NATURE It’s a haunted Halloween affair with ghosts, goblins, vampires — and two of the smoothest, sharpest house DJs around. Naked Music pioneer Miguel Migs defined the super-popular West Coast house sound of the 2000s, while Philly’s Rich Medina is a crate-digger’s delight. 9:30pm-2am, Monarch, SF. More info here.

THU/31 CREATURES OF THE NIGHTLIFE This yearly treat sees the Cal Academy of Sciences up to some spooky tricks, with a live performance by the queen of squirm, Heklina, plus tunes from the scarily terrific DJ Omar. Drag show, costume party, and science fair all mixed together! 6pm-10pm, Cal Academy, SF. More info here

THU/31 MAD HATTER’S BALL Slide down a rabbit hole of thumping bass and electrified pop remixes as 19-year-old headliner, Whethan, who’s collaborated with Dua Lipa and Charlie XCX, brings the frightening beats. 9pm-2am, 1015 Folsom, SF. More info here

THU/31 TRUTH Contemporary dubstep aces Truth hail from New Zealand, rupturing subwoofers and layering enough wavy synths to fuel a wobbly mothership. Hop aboard their UFO at this special Halloween party. 9pm-3am, Great Norther, SF. More info here

THU/31 HALLOWEED WITH DOJA CAT She’s a cow, bitch. 9pm-2am, The Midway, SF. More info here.

Party Radar: ULTIMATE PRIDE GUIDE 2019

PRIDE Heeeeeeey, Happy GIANT PRODE, everybody! Party Radar’s been on a wee hiatus while I finish this crazy book, sorry. I miss getting nuts on the dance floor and/or bathroom stall with you! The book is a history of protest in the US for young people, which, surprise, happens to also tie into this year’s big Pride celebration theme, on the 50th anniversary of Stonewall—Generations of Resistance.

Yes, we still live in a time of online #resistance, which is fine. But honestly, we need to get out of the group chats and into the streets. There are trans people dying from lack of adequate treatment at the border (and being murdered everywhere else, it seems), and queer people without a home are being actually swept out of sight. Queer youth still face tremendous challenges. And let’s not even get into the mess that is national politics, ew.

And partying can be revolutionary, too. As Melissa Hawkins’ awesome recent show of queer club photography from the 1980s and ’90s at the GLBT History Museum pointed out, AIDS activism was based in nightclubs and bars, in communicating face to face, in meeting one another, dancing together, and making a plan.

So, to help out with that (and any social anxiety), here’s a wee guide to the massive amounts of parties happening, to help you navigate the rainbow-tutu’d masses and wash up on the proper rainbow shores.

Let’s get this out of the way in the beginning: I’m part of the Stud Collective, which owns the 53-year-old nightclub, and I love being transparent about it! You will see some Stud events in here because we are a chill place to come party. 🙂 But I love all people and embrace all people, so this is really a rundown of all parties I would heartily recommend.

BUT FIRST the main run-down of must-dos for first-timers:

The National Queer Arts Festival and Frameline Film Festival have tons of stuff going on.
Go see my cute friend Adam Tendler play amazing experimental music in Grace Cathedral on Friday.

Friday is the Trans March
Saturday is the Dyke March.
Sunday is the big Pride parade and party.
Monday is taquitos and Netflix.

PRIDE PARTIES! 

> MONDAY 6/24 <

QUEER BOWLING This monthly charitable roll in the lanes is date-night perfection (and single-night score-heavy). It’s also just plain fun to spare. This month features the all-vinyl awesomeness of Chulita Vinyl Club, plus cheap themed drinks and a great menu. 6pm-10pm, free. Mission Bowling Club, SF. More info here.    

> WEDNESDAY 6/26 <

PULLIN’ PORK FOR  PRIDE 48 Hills and the Harvey Milk Democratic Club team up for our annual Pride kick-off! Tasty BBQ (yes there are veggie options) and a beer bust to raise funds for these essential local orgs 🙂 Also, pop up drag numbers, some great prizes, and more. 6pm-9pm, free entry, you can buy a plate and beer bust for cheap! Pilsner Inn, SF. More info here.  

SISTER ACT SINGALONG PRIDE MASS I’m not religious, but I am thankful for this, from the folks who brought us the Beyoncé Mass: “We’ll kick it off with a mini-Pride parade and sing all of your favorite Sister Act songs— from “Hail Holy Queen” to “Joyful, Joyful” — led by our #BeyonceMass soloist Logan Williams. And most importantly, we’ll celebrate that we are all made in the likeness of God with a special Pride message from pastor and activist Brandan Robertson. Oh, and don’t be afraid to wear your fiercest outfit!” 6:30pm-7:30pm, free. Grace Cathedral, SF. More info here

BONDAGE-A-GO-GO PERVERT’S PRIDE “At BaGG we are not only kinky. We are Trans. We are Queer. We are lesbian, gay, bisexual, two-spirit, polyamorous, monogamous, pan sexual, asexual, agender, demisexual, demiromantic, sapiosexual, leather daddies, femmes, switches, agender, asexual, bears, otters, unicorns and more and some times we are everything and nothing at the same time. We are Bondage-a-Go-Go.” (There will be dancing and fun!) 9:30pm-2:30am, $10-$20. Cat Club, SF. More info here.

Feathered hair and polka dots in the 1980s!

> THURSDAY 6/27 <

POLKA DOT PROM An ’80s club tradition returns, with fab retro vibes galore. The Stud used to hold this annual fun-speckled party back in the day (legend was they would close the doors and carry on all night). I’ll be DJing some underground ’80s classics along with a bunch of amazing folks, including an original Polka Dot Prom DJ, Junkyard! Plus you can score a reprint of an original Stud button. 8pm-2am, $5 before 10pm. The Stud, SF. More info here

MR. S. 40TH ANNIVERSARY Oh my goodness, hot folks in leather. Celebrate the big 4-0 of this groundbreaking kink emporium with DJ Fawks and friends. 9pm-2am, free. Oasis, SF. More info here

THE TUBESTEAK CONNECTION DJ Bus Station John is a treasure, rescuing authentic disco and bathhouse vibes from the vintage recesses of our collective soul. His long-running weekly club is a must for visitors and (ir)regulars alike—an old-school cruising, cell phone-free event (were they even invented when she started this party?) 10pm-2am, $5. Aunt Charlie’s Lounge, SF. 

FOXES Absolutely love it when still-mourned dyke bar the Lexington Club comes back to life at Virgil’s, with former staff and patrons on deck. This Pride kick-off takeover brings together the best of the lesbian scene with a pop-up patio bar, DJs, beloved hosts and more. 9pm-2am, $5. Virgil’s, SF. More info here

Brooklyn-based DJ Cali Rose plays Bustin’ Out

> FRIDAY 6/28 <

BUSTIN’ OUT 14!!! PARTY AGANST THE PRISON-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX An annual post-Trans March tradition, this rad event from the TGI Justice Project features DJs, food, and festive extras to raise money to help our trans family behind bars. 7pm-2am, donation requested. El Rio and Virgil’s, SF. More info here

T4T One of my favorite DJs, CarrieOnDisco, plays at this post-Trans March party at Jolene’s—and if you haven’t checked out the new Jolene’s yet, this is your time! 9pm-2am, $5. Jolene’s, SF. More info here

STEAM A bathhouse themed party complete with Power Shower™ go-gos, professional massages, and the brilliantly cosmic techno of SF’s beloved Bézier. Hottt. 9pm-2am, $10. Powerhouse, SF. More info here

POUND PUPPY Arooooo! Your dogs will be barking after dancing all night at this pup-alar party, with Berlin’s Doc Sleep and NYC’s Physical Therapy bringing you some deep techno dish. 10pm-4am, $20. The  Stud, SF. More info here

Likely47 performs at Swagger Like Us.

SWAGGER LIKE US PRIDE Quite possibly the most fantastic queer hip-hop party on the planet goes big, filling 1015 Folsom with drop-dead looks and beats, courtesy of rapper-singer special guest Leikeli47, who will whip the dance floor runway into a frenzy—along with a slew of DJs like Juliana Huxtable and Jasmine Infiniti. 9pm-3am, $40. 1015 Folsom, SF. More info here

ELECTROLUXX PRIDE Local art and cuties in neon leggings as far as the eye can see at this party favorite. One of the best DJs in the world, Detroit’s Holographic, is playing, too. Online tix are sold out so rush that door. 9pm-4am, $30-$40. Public Works, SF. More info here

CLUB LONELY Two of our city’s best-kept secrets—house rave Club Lonely and insanely talented DJ Carlos Souffront—come together for a Pride “blowout.” 10pm-4am, $10. Club OMG, SF. More info here

Infamous Oaklander Kreayshawn DJs the Fake & Gay party.

> SATURDAY 6/29 <

FAKE & GAY  This bananas party takes to DNA Lounge to present Oakland’s infamous Kreayshawn for an 18+ jam. Get there, youths! 9pm-3am, $15-$20, 18+. DNA Lounge, SF. More info here

PINK BLOCK Not quite the radical political uprising the name suggests, but a revolutionary takeover of the streets nonetheless. Hercules and Love Affair and Poolside headline, and the wonderful Polyglamorous hosts, but there are literally 100 other performers, DJs, and all-around hotties involved in this massive, and massively cute-looking, event. Noon-9pm, $20-$60. Outside Great Northern, SF. More info here.  

DAD TO THE BONE The zaddy of all DJ dads, New Orleans’ Mark Louque, pops in for this ruff and tender affair, combining the unleashed power of the DAD (Dudes and Disco) and the Fog City Pup Pack. 9pm-2am, $10-$20. Underground SF. More info here

Look at this gorgeous flyer.

HOT PANTS The legendary lez party returns! With DJs Chelsea Starr, Campbell, China G, and Miss Pop—plus all the most azz-mazing outfits. 8:30pm-3am, $10 advance. The Stud, SF. More info here.  

WILD THINGS One of the biggest-yet-still-cool parties of the weekend will pack the Public Works with femme power out the wazoo. featuring DJ Kittens and tons of local talent. 7pm-late, $35. Public Works, SF. More info here

GLAMAMORE’S PINK SATURDAY NUTZ The grand doyenne of SF drag, Glamamore, is hosting a go-go contest on the eve of Pride: Just go with it, it’s Glamamore. 9pm-2am, $5. Powerhouse, SF. More info here

PITCHERS & CATCHERS A slew of eye-popping drag shows at the Pilsner, plus beer! DJ Sergio homes in. 6pm-10pm, free. Pilsner Inn, SF. More info here

SUI GENERIS SIP ‘N SHOP You know you need to look good for Pride. Sip complimentary champagne and shop the packed racks (and a discount!) of this super-cool consignment shop in the Castro. noon-4pm, free. Sui Generis, SF. More info here.  

> SUNDAY 6/30 <

HARD FRENCH <3 LOS HOMOS Our #1 queer soul party always bonkers it up for its Pride lineup, and could anything be more lovely than synthpop legends Book of Love? Oh yes, there’s a classic soul block party outside all day, too, plus, just, everything. 3pm-11pm, $35. Mezzanine, SF. More info here

JUANITA MORE! PRIDE PARTY Her face is everywhere this year! Drag goddess Juanita More is claiming her throne as the Party Lady—proof comes in her always packed and scenic annual charitable party, this time around with DJs Bobby Viteritti, Kim Anh, Steve Fabus, Nonsuit, and performances galore. Noon-7pm, $50. Jones, SF. More info here

MIGHTY REAL Two amazing parties all day/night from this soulful house crew. First, spend the day poolside at the Phoenix dancing to diva CeCe Peniston and DJ David Harness. (More info here.) Then high tail it over Great Northern for the afterparty with deep house legend Kerri Chandler. (More info here.) Beauty!

QUEERLY BELOVED Courtney Trouble’s truly beloved Pride patio party is back, with hip-hoppy happiness from DJs Gangsta Boo, Micahtron, and Mimi Tempestt. 3pm-9pm, $20. El Rio, SF. More info here

DISCO DADDY If you are looking for that “authentic disco” Pride feeling, you will find it here: “A 7-Hour Tres-Gay Holiday Disco, Hi-NRG, & R&B Marathon W/ DJ Bus Station John. The ‘Happy Ending’ you requested!” 7pm-2am, $10. SF Eagle. More info here.   

DJ Jubilee plays Honey

HONEY SOUNDSYSTEM PRIDE Not only will this annual bananas-good party take over one of the most exquisitely cool (secret-ish) venues the city, it also promises some of the most interesting contemporary dance music. Oh, and hot new friends. Brooklyn’s DJ Jubilee headlines with some bass boom. And there’s a spacey ambient room featuring actual techno legend Spacetime Continuuum. Goooooo. 10pm-3am, $25-$35. Social Hall, SF. More info here.

STUD PRIDE We got parties! OK, nine parties to be exact, all coming together in one giant party to show off their best bits. Drink specials, wild times, and a special performance by Gia Gunn. 2pm-2am, $15. The Stud, SF. More info here

Comedowns are for losers: New Year’s Day parties 2019

Who's ready for round 2?

PARTY RADAR The cliche is that New Year’s Eve is for amateurs, but it’s also for champions—can you outlast, outwit, and outplay your fellow revelers (and your own tolerance) and last through the insane night of parties and into the next day?  

Here’s where you should drag your heels to—after a refreshing shower, breakfast, and change of shades, of course. And perhaps a refreshing plunge into the ocean? Or why not first throw on your bathing suit and hit the ice rink for the Polar Bear Skate

Who’s ready for round 2?

NEW YEAR’S DAY PARTIES OF NOTE

NEW BEGINNINGS: DJ HEATHER & COLETTE The Chicago house favorites bring new beginnings vibes to the EndUp with a four-hour set of their signature funky grooves. This one’s more of NYE rager (it’s the EndUp, duh) since it starts at 2am, but there’s a free continental breakfast at 6am, so sweet. 2am-10am, $20. The End Up, SF. More info here.  

LOVE HANGOVER: DAVID HARNESS Our master of soulful house playing the cozy local bear bar has got to be the cutest party going. At the Lone Star, also with Costa Rican DJs from the Get Bumpin’ and more. Noon-9pm, $5-$10. Lone Star Saloom, SF. More info here.    

IT’S A NEW DAY + BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS BLOCK PARTY NYD 2019 This is the big Megillah, our yearly traditional block party bacchanal that draws more than a few Burners. Doc Martin, Marques Wyatt, Kim Ann Foxman, J.Phlip, and tons more headline, it’s nuts. 4am-9pm, $50. Great Northern, SF. More info here.  

FRESH START: GET REAL Our own dirty bird bass mechanic Claude Von Stroke teams up with Chicago freak legend Green Velvet for new duo Get Real. Catch their wild debut at the Fresh Start party at the Midway, with A-Trak, Justin Martin, and more. 4am-8pm, $10+. The Midway, SF. More info here

BRASS TAX: SUPPER OF SURVIVORS X The tenth anniversary of this essentially SF NYD party—expect tons of sugary treats and out-there outfits. There is even a triage station with toothbrushes and other refreshing supplies. Plus, of course, some crazy music from a host of Brass Tax DJs. No glitter canon this year :/ but you can engage in a “game of cone,” which you will have to discover the meaning of yourself. 3pm-12:30am, $15-$20. Public Works, SF. More info here.   

SUNSET SOUND SYSTEM NEW YEAR’S DAY Some foundational SF talent repped here with Sunset’s Galen + Solar, plus Sunshine Jones of Dubtribe Sound System. Also: Danny Daze brings his own sunshine from Miami/Berlin, Netherlands’ Interstellar Funk, and a Vinyl Dreams room. 8pm-3am, $20+. Great Northern, SF. More info here

Party Radar: Sweet, sweet NYE

Peachy! New Year's Gaiety at the SF Symphony with Peaches Christ and cutie conductor Edwin Outwater

PARTY RADAR Let’s kick this sorry ass-end of a year bah-byeeeeee and hit the dance floor for a couple days running, shall we? Below are my top picks for moving past the sh*t and into the champagne. 

And hey, why not finish off 2018 by saving local media? And nudge your favorite club or party to advertise with us! 💁 Hey, I made it through this without making a “ball drop” joke, surely that’s worth something.  (PS Here’s my annual list of New Year’s Day parties for the real champs.) 

NEW YEAR’S EVE PARTIES OF NOTE

NEW YEAR’S EVE AT LA PEÑA WITH SAMBADÁ & BRAZA PARTY! I love the Braza party, and this event sounds full of gorgeous color and flavor. Dance with a Brazil-loving crowd and hear some great live music from Santa Cruz’s SambaDá. 9pm-2am, $35. La Peña Cultural Center, Berkeley. More info here.    

THE MIDWAY NYE 2019 Sure, you’re ready for an all night party with Little Dragon, Modeselektor, TokiMonsta, and Mayan Warrior—but are you ready for a sustainable future? I mean, yes, duh, but this NYE, The Midway is eliminating all single-use plastics going forward. “To compliment the switch, The Midway will install an art exhibit by creative duo YuJo highlighting the negative effects of plastic pollution. The artists are known for creating sculptural works around the world, including the life-size blue whale made from discarded plastic at Crissy Field.” Which sounds pretty cool. 9pm-4am, $89.50. The Midway, SF. More info here

NEW YEAR’S GAIETY WITH PEACHES CHRIST + SF SYMPHONY What a combo! “Ring in 2019 with San Francisco’s famed drag sensation Peaches Christ, plus Jane Lynch, Cheyenne Jackson, Edwin Outwater, and the SF Symphony! Featuring a star-studded lineup of surprise guest stars, delectable vocalists, and drag queens galore, you’ll be regaled by big laughs, big fun, and even bigger hair.” 8pm, 35+. Davies Symphony Hall, SF. More info here

PLANET STUD NYE The Stud blast off into a pan gender-welcoming future, with Berlin/SF wonderperson Femanyst aka Lady Blaktronica dropping banging techno, plus gayphextwin live, and DJs Siobhan Aluvalot, Adam Kraft, and me, DJ Marke B! Drag bonanza at 9:30 and 11:30. 8pm-4am, $15-$20. The Stud, SF. More info here  

POPSCENE INDIE NYE Local band Geographer should probably be bigger, but they stay our own rather open secret—here they DJ a special set for the awesome indie-dance juggernaut that is the Popscene party. 9:30pm-2:30am, $14+. Monarch, SF. More info here. 

THE QUEEN’S BALL There’s a lot going on with this one: drag show, aerialists, Groovewell playing funky tunes all night in the side room … but the DJs are the main draw: UK’s brilliant Maya Jane Coles, Lily Ackerman, and a live performance by the great Ah Mer Ah Su. 9pm-3am, $60-$70. Great Northern, SF. More info here. 

CAT CLUB NYE It’s an 80s extravaganza! Cat Club SF, Club Gossip, and the 1984 party come together to take you way back. Party like it’s, er, 1985! 9pm-4am, $25. Cat Cub, SF. More info here.   

SHANNON & THE CLAMS Oakland garage rock phenoms ring it in, with Once and Future Band and Glitter Wizard. 9pm, $40-$50. New Parish, Oakland. More info here. 

UNDERGROUND SF NYE BASH Ace house spinner DJ Spun comes in from NYC to throw down, with Elexos Park and Woozy backing up. 8pm-2am, $5-$10. Underground SF. More info here

MACEO PARKER A funky New Year indeed, when “the king of the funky saxophone and one of the primary architects of modern R&B” comes raring in to SFJAZZ. Love him. 10:30pm, $60+. SFJAZZ. More info here

TRAP CITY NYE The Best of the Bay Best Hip-Hop Club winner throwing a party in a huge video arcade with a superhero theme? Up, up, and a way. 9pm-2am, $10. The Emporium, SF. More info here

BOOTIE NYE The crazy kids of Bootie bring you three different balloon drops, dozens of entertainers, like eight different dance rooms, and their patented brand of mashed-up Frankenpop. 9pm-3:30am, $20+. DNA Lounge, SF. More info here

GLAMAMORE’S NYE Everyone’s favorite drag matriarch promises a dazzling evening of drink and drag (and plenty of cute baby boy new years, of course). 10pm-2am, $10-$15. powerhouse, SF. More info here

Party Radar: Cinthie, Orbital, WonderFull 15 …

Cinthie plays the Werd party, Sun/9

PARTY RADAR Nothing heats up winter like a good “bitch track” scalding your ears and setting the dance floor aflame, and I just published an interview with the queen of bitch tracks, Sweet Pussy Pauline. In the 1980s and ’90s you couldn’t escape her voice—”Work this pussy!” “I put one leg on the ceiling and one on the closet door!” “A big ol’ hateful anteater!”—being sampled on every kind of record.

Anyway, please pull up to the warm glow of your laptop or phone, imagine a crackling fire, and touch the hotness, before we venture out to the local dance floors:

PARTIES OF NOTE

THU/6 ORBITAL The classic techno duo come back to the states after a long absence, filling the Midway with light and sound. 8pm-midnight, $40. The Midway, SF. More info here.  

FRI/7 AH MER AH SU Bay Area queer dance-pop icon is so delightful, see them with the Molly House crew dropping the crowd to the floor. 9pm-2am, $10. Elbo Room, SF. More info here

FRI/7 VAGUE TERRAIN Wide-ranging techno goodness at this monthly, featuring “a DJ set from Leipzig’s omnisonic seducer ESCLÉ and a special live set from Venezuelan-born, Brussels-based trip advisor BEAR BONES, LAY LOW.” 9pm-2am, $10. Underground SF. More info here.   

FRI/7 THE FINAL DESPERATE LIVING SoMa’s outrageous queer punk party says “fuck off and die”—with a live set by the Lollygaggers and a host of awesome performers. Punk’s not dead! 10pm-3am, $10. The Stud, SF. More info here

SAT/8 NORM TALLEY Incredible classic bouncy house magician from Detroit, coming to the intimate Phonobar in Hayes Valley? Holy shit. “You better believe he’s bringing fat stacks of wax with him for this one. Unlike most parties in this city we let DJs play for 3 hours or more. Expect Norm to go the distance and flex that Detroit muscle.” 9pm-2am, $15-$20. Phonobar, SF. More info here

SAT/8 WONDERFULL 15 This is a very good party, hitting 15 years, and full of dance floor treats and surprises. “Globetrotting superstar DJ Spinna headlines WonderFull: a dance party of epic proportions dedicated to Stevie Wonder’s essential compositions, covers, and goodies. 9pm-4am, $25. Mezzanine, SF. More info here.  

SAT/8 POUND PUPPY The scruffy gay monthly promises a special “howligay” party that will “get your egg nogs out,” with residents Oscar Pineda and Kevin O’Connor got-gone delicious techno all night long. 9pm-2am, $10. SF Eagle. More info here.

SAT/8 LADY RYAN The Oakland star comes to the Swagger Like Us Party, the queer hip-hop party that keeps scoring Best of the Bay. 10pm-3am, $10. The Stud, SF. More info here.   

SAT/8 STUDIO 5’4 A party for vertically-different gay guys that is merciless in its use of puns and healthy self-deprecation. “DJ Omnibot will provide the disco beats. He can’t see over the DJ booth though, so raise your hands up really high.” 9pm-2am, $5. Lone Star Saloon. More info here.  

SUN/9 CINTHIE The “queen of the Berlin house scene” finally comes in with musical news of what’s going on over there. This one’s really special for the Werd party family—I’ve been dying to hear her—come out and dance! 9pm-2am, $5 advance. Monarch, SF. More info here