event guide

Folsom Street Fair celebrates 40th anniversary in San Francisco

Two people dressed in sleek leather outfits.
All photos are courtesy of Folsom Street and GayCities partners.

It’s time to polish your boots and dust off your best leathers, Folsom Street Fair is back, baby!

On September 24, from 11 am to 6 pm, kinksters will take over a corner of SoMa District in San Francisco, on Folsom Street between 8th and 13th, to create a world where exhibitionists and voyeurs reach perfect harmony. Peruse one of the many fetish vendor booths and watch the hottest scenes unfold on the street. Who knows? Maybe you’ll walk away with a new kink.

The iconic kinky carnival celebrates its 40th birthday this year. So, it’s safe to say, Folsom Street Fair is the Daddy of all kink festivals. For those who want a bit of guidance through this very San Francisco event, here’s everything you need to know, from booths to performance stages and to-go cocktails, as well as solid advice for attendees from local community leaders.

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Folsom Street Fair Map. Click to enlarge.

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To avoid traffic jams, your favorite Leather District bars are serving to-go cocktails at booths outside their storefronts. Each bar’s sales will benefit local LGBTQ+ charities.


Sprawling nightclub in SoMa 298 11th St · San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 595-3725


Dark and cruise-y bar 1347 Folsom St · San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 552-8689

Folsom Street Foundry

Massive event venue with full bar 1425 Folsom St · San Francisco, CA 94103


SF Eagle

Meet daddies, otters and pups 398 12th St · San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 626-0880

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Main Stage Performances

Person wearing a black leather harness stands on a speaker holding a crucifix and a sign that reads "sex work".

There are seven community stages with a variety of entertainers performing all day long.

  • DJ & Gogo Stage curated by Fawkstales, featuring the hottest beats and gogo’s all day long.
  • Drag Stage by STUD Collective and Oaklash.
  • The Playground hosted by Alotta Boutté in an exclusive womxns area.
  • Wrestling Stage presented by Full Queer.
  • Folsom Street Live!, A Sounds Like Fury production.
  • The Eagle Stage by SF Eagle featuring live music and dirty beats.
  • Bondage Stage by the Twisted Windows & KinkPOC Bay Area.

Plus the legendary BDSM Demo Area by Society of Janus.

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Folsom Street Fair Booths

Five men wearing leather fashion accessories posing for the camera.

As always, you’ll find a wide variety of leather goods and fetish wear made by local artisans.

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Where to find the queer crowd near Folsom Street Fair

Public Works

Energetic warehouse in the Mission 161 Erie St · San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 779-6757

1015 Folsom

Dance and circuit party favorite 1015 Folsom St. · San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 431-1200

Find Folsom Street Fair before and after parties on Andymatic and Bloom.

Mr. S Leather

Leather couture 385 8th Street · San Francisco, CA 94103
(800) 746-7677

Cat Club

Gothic kinky vibes 1190 Folsom St · San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 703-8965

The Great Northern

Art-deco nightclub 119 Utah St · San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 626-7001

DNA Lounge

Late-night DJs & pizza 375 11th St · San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 626-1409

Word on the Street

Here’s solid advice for Folsom Street Fair attendees from local community leaders.

Danarama says, “Take it slow.”

“It can often take hours to walk from one end of Folsom to the other. So one of the best ways to enjoy the fair, I have found after decades of attending, is to get out of the flow of traffic and watch the crowd go by. Take a pit stop at your favorite booth or watch a performance at one of the community stages, you might be surprised at what comes across your path.”

“Just remember: You can look, but you can’t touch (without asking for consent).”

Dan, educator & adult film director
Dan, educator & adult film director

Ivy wants some helping hands!

Ivy, co-founder of KinkyPOC Bay Area
Ivy, co-founder of KinkyPOC Bay Area

“As a San Francisco native, Folsom Street Fair is like an institution to me. I first started getting into it through volunteer opportunities. I used to help out at a corset booth, and now I know how to get people laced up at lightning speed. This community lives on volunteers, and there are plenty of fun opportunities to help out.”

A note on consent from Blue:

“If you’re not into exhibitionism, you may want to look into a group called Ask First. There’s mutual respect for privacy in our community because some members do not want their family or coworkers to know about their kinky side. If you come to this fair, you may end up in some photos. Wearing a sticker from Ask First lets people know that you would prefer if they asked you before taking a photo with you in it.”

Blue, owner of Voxbody Studio in Oakland
Blue, owner of Voxbody Studio in Oakland

Lief’s advice for out-of-town attendees:

Lief, LA-based rope artist
Lief, an LA-based rope artist

“Folsom Street Fair is not just a West Coast thing, people travel from all over the world to San Francisco for this event. So, you have to book your hotels in advance if you want to stay close to the fair.”

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Kink-friendly hotels near Folsom Street Fair

Phoenix Hotel

Where the rockstars stay 601 Eddy St · San Francisco, CA 94109
(415) 776-1380

Good Hotel

Edo-friendly lodging 112 Seventh St · San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 621-7001

Beck’s Motor Lodge

Authentic and central motor lodge 2222 Market St · San Francisco, CA 94114
(415) 621-8212

Parker Guest House

Boutique lodging near Dolores Park 520 Church St · San Francisco, CA 94114
(415) 621-3222

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