Forget Folsom. Dore Alley a.k.a. Up Your Alley is where the locals come out to play and the festival is way more gay. San Francisco’s largest gay festival was a weekend of fun, debauchery, meeting new friends, celebrating with old ones, and living like there is no tomorrow, hunty! If having sex all weekend was your thing, Dore had it in a multitude of sex parties. If dancing the entire weekend away all night long was more your flavor, Dore Festival was there for you. The City By the Bay provided an action-packed weekend that will leave revelers of Dore Alley waiting with baited breath until the next Up Your Alley…or at least until Folsom next month!
Known as Folsom’s Dirty Little Brother by Folsom producers, Dore Festival/Up Your Alley is a street fair like no other—well, maybe in Berlin. Mostly for fetish enthusiasts, Dore is celebrating its 32nd year as the lesser-known, but more local and outrageous alternative, to Folsom weekend. The dress code was everything from leather or naked, to harnesses or kilts, to skirts or shorts, and everything in between. The goal? To party and celebrate with your fellow fetish lovers under the San Francisco sun. And boy: did she deliver.
No longer just a Sunday day festival, Dore Festival has expanded to serving up delicious parties all weekend long and for specific niches; especially kinks. Thousands of people from around the world come to San Francisco to meet up with like-minded gays. Up Your Alley started Friday night with the official opening party held at the Eagle. With a loose ‘no phones allowed’ policy, Hog Wild was meant for newbies to the festival and regulars alike to meet, mano a mano, person to person, surrounded by kink enthusiasts and amazing dance music. A gear and leather party hosted by CumUnion and BBRT closed out the night for those that wanted a even more action with their weekend.
Saturday was anything but sane with too many parties to choose from. San Francisco delivered up a gorgeous day, so Delores Park was packed in the morning with Dore Alley attendees. The No NSA OMG Underwear Party was the first party of the day, and an unofficial Up Your Alley favourite held at Club OMG. Scantily clad partiers and sickening beats made this a party to remember. The official Dore Saturday night party, Bay Of Pigs, had 1,000 kinky gays dancing to the beats of DJs Eddie Martinez, Alexander, Asheton Lemay, Mozghan, Jeremy Castillo, and Jordee until the sun started coming up at 4:00am. Club SMother, hosted by Mother SF was fierce and fabulous.
Sneaks, the unofficial Dore Festival but official sportswear/gear party hosted by Polyglamorous, demanded a strict dress code of only athletic gear allowed, fulfilling sweaty fantasies of athletes and jocks in gear inside a two-story dance floor setting. CumUnion hosted the Black Out sex party while The End Up, played host to Phoenix SF, and had never closed their doors Saturday night. Party people just couldn’t stop dancing and living the night away into morning and beyond.
Sunday issued in another warm, sunny San Fran day: perfect for attending a festival in next to no clothing. Nearly 20,000 people attended this year’s Up Your Alley, held in front of Powerhouse bar, where over 50 vendors offered different items and ‘kicks’ to get into. Booths for spanking, punching, whips and floggers, bondage, domination, submission, piss play, toys, and more were available for attendees. Every single sex act under the sun was on full display at Dore, unlike the (SEMI!) conservative tone that Folsom has adopted in comparison in the last few years. Music was provided by world class DJs DAMnation, Byron Bonsall, Russ Rich, and Josh Whitaker. Just as soon as the sun began to set over the San Francisco skyline, another Up Your Alley Dore Street Festival had come and gone…but not the energy.
At 6:00pm, the line to get into Eagle was around the block and the club was packed. Powerhouse was at capacity. CumUnion held their unofficial Up Your Alley sex party, attended by hundreds, and the Dore Festival official closing party began. Rough, held at Club Mezzanine, rocked until 2:00am with beats by DJ Russ Rich and DJ Bret Law. Over a thousand guys danced the night away, reveling in the über fun weekend had by all.
Whether it was the leather scene, the kinks, the men, the locals, the visitors, the parties, the city, the festival, or just the overall weekend itself, Dore Festival provided entertainment to us all this past weekend. Up Your Alley guaranteed there was a little something for everyone at this fab festival where there really truly was something right up your alley…or mine.