party haus

PHOTOS: Breakfast of Champions serves SF the most important meal of the year

A quartet of queer cuties.
A quartet of queer cuties.

What makes San Francisco so delicious is that queerness is baked into its unique culture, evidenced by the annual New Year’s Day block party Breakfast of Champions. Hosted at the art deco venue Great Northern, and spilling into its neighboring streets, this all-day event kicks off at 4 am and powers through well into the evening. This carnival of cultural queerness features food trucks, aerial performers, and ten different stages showcasing over 100 DJs over the course of the day. For one of these DJs, Ben Bellayuto, Breakfast of Champions is a counterpoint to the pressures of New Year’s Eve.

“I think  New Year’s Eve is always such a letdown,” mused Bellayuto, known more prominently by his nightlife moniker DJ Beya. “Breakfast of Champions takes the stress of that away. It’s a daytime dance party. And it’s not about the countdown, it’s not about New Year’s Eve. And instead of it being a letdown, it’s just like a daytime all-day dance party. And you know, people stay until it gets dark. And then there’s an after-party inside Great Northern. So it’s it’s kind of where everyone comes together.”

Celebrating its 24th year of daybreak bacchanalia, this annual SF tradition was originally founded by the iconic Burning Man tribe Space Cowboys as a fundraiser to support not only their Black Rock City-based projects but also the various artistic events they produce all year long. Ever expanding over the years, Breakfast of Champions embraces SF’s proud LGBTQ+ community with the inclusion of a stage dedicated to queer talent, presented by the party producers Polyglamorous, of which Bellayuto is a co-founder.

“Breakfast of Champions comes from a place that’s very much ‘the more the merrier,” Bellayuto explained. “And they believe in representation. We already had a good partnership with them, and they asked us to do a stage and I think it made a lot of sense. It’s like broadening an already very mixed crowd. But I think it was purposeful in the sense of wanting to give queer DJs a platform to sort of have a little bit of the spotlight.

For Bellayuto, Breakfast of Champions reflects the radical self-expression innate to his city. While New York is known for its chic style, and Los Angeles for its casual cool, San Francisco is less self-conscious. It doesn’t just acknowledge its free-spirited and often bizarre nature, it unapologetically leans into it.

“It’s very San Francisco to party in the street,” reflected Bellayuto. “We’re going to do this our way and party outside all day and turn it from day to night. San Francisco is a party town and these big events, they always show up and turnout. I think that makes it quintessentially SF.”

For those of you who couldn’t partake in this year’s Breakfast of Champions, we’d like to serve up some of San Francisco’s tastiest snacks for you. Bon appetite!

Photographs by Mike Ciriaco

Like a rtue SF boy, Tyler greets the new year with a psychodelic ensemble.
Like a true SF boy, Tyler greets the new year with a psychedelic ensemble.
James "Copper" Ward, partiarch of the queer Burning Man tribe The Glamcocks, bouncing into the new year.
James “Copper” Ward, partiarch of the queer Burning Man tribe The Glamcocks, bouncing into the new year.
Even a busted leg won't hold tis San Franciscan from ringing in the new year.
Even a busted leg won’t hold this San Franciscan from ringing in the new year at Breakfast of Champions.
A woman adding some folk flair to the festivities.
A woman adding some folk flair to the festivities.
Shirtless and sassy.
Shirtless and sassy.
A stiltwalker fan dancing through the streets.
Ian Karakasoglu evoking an Avatar Aang aesthetic.
Ian Karakasoglu evoking an Avatar Aang aesthetic.
JB "Badger" Boin channeling waterbender vibes.
JB “Badger” Boin channeling waterbender vibes.
Kimbo proving than in San Francisco, straight woman can hold their own when it comes to queer culture.
Kimbo channelling New Order with her take on Blue Monday.
Queer couple John Pacheco and David Bronner.
Queer couple John Pacheco and David Bronner cuddling at Breakfast of Champions.
Bostonian Michael "Crackoon" Lubrano unleashing his inner beast with this animal print ensemble.
Bostonian Michael Lubrano unleashing his inner beast with this animal print ensemble.
Sterling Tadlock casting his witchy magic.
Sterling Tadlock casting his witchy magic.
BamBam serving his signature caveman-couture aesthetic on the streets of San Francisco.
BamBam serving his signature caveman-couture aesthetic for Breakfast of Champions.
A local diva diva sporting their day-glo ensemble.
A local diva sporting their day-glo ensemble.
Blue and gold.
A blue and gold duo at Breakfast of Champions.
A trans woman with a Sailor Moon purse.
Fighting evil by moonlight, winning love by daylight with that geek-chic Sailor Moon purse.
Shirtless THOT
Like a Steel Magnolia, pink is her signature color.
A straight couple flauting their SF style.
A straight couple flauting their SF style.
A kissing couple.
Greeting the new year. with a kiss.

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