Monday, August 27, 2007

The End of Fag Fridays at The End Up

On Saturday I got the scoop from a reliable inside source that the venerable institution of Fag Fridays, which has been running for something like 14 years, will be having their last party in mid-October, with Fridays now being given over to major DJ parties.

Though my own description of Fag Fridays has long been "gay, reliable, but not that exciting," the passing of this event will mark a milestone in the history of the San Francisco gay scene. Perhaps most significantly, there will no longer be a weekly gay dance event that focuses on house music, and this is what I see as the real significance of this milestone; the deep house sound that once served as the bedrock for the gay dance scene has now fallen so signficantly out of fashion that parties based around this music no longer have the ability to pull in the numbers like they used to.

In some ways, this is not so surprising; go out to any club in the Castro and you'll hear more hip-hop and contemporary dance (in the vein of 92.7) than you will house music, and tribal diva house now rules the big dance scene. The progressive sound, like what you hear at Honey Sound System parties, is more based in techno than house, and the other successful nights focus either on rock and electro, or retro disco/Italodisco. House just doesn't have the cultural currency that it once did, nor has it been the soundtrack for so many coming out and clubbing adventures that it once was. People are generally loyal to the music that was a part of their sexual awakening, and for younger gay guys that music usually has more do with MTV and 92.7 than it does with deep house.

Though it's been a long time since I went there (I think the last time was probably two years ago), I will be kinda sad to see Fag Fridays go away. It was a fun time in a cool space, and always made me feel a connection to a history of the San Francisco scene that was special. If you enjoyed Fag Fridays, go out and have one more twirl on the dancefloor before it's gone for good.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad fag fridays at the endup are coming to an end. Seriously. I love dancing there. One of the DJs is even quite phenomenal (when he does play, usually at some random Sunday morning when no one's there). The music is vapid, or that's what my friends say when I confess to going there. I have never been made to feel welcome there. And now that fag fridays will be gone, I have absolutely no reason to ever go there again. Thanks guys for supporting the community, apparently our money isn't good enough for you. Now, to find a party where I can dance my ass off....

Dan said...

As a promoter of Lucky Pierre, first Fridays at the Stud, and of Club Heat, which will be third Fridays at the Stud starting on October, I have mixed feelings about the end of Fag Fridays.

Fag Fridays has been such an institution that other Friday gay clubs defined themselves in different ways as the un- Fag Fridays. Now that Fag Fridays at the End Up and Sugar Saturdays at the Stud are both gone, it does seem like an era has passed-- of weekly gay house nights South of Market.

It will be interesting to see how this change stirs things up.

Anonymous said...

I guess I'm the only person who reads this blog who was actually sad to hear the news about Fag Fridays. I was doing some further research to see what was behind all this madness. From what I heard, Fag Friday's is not really closing down, they're just not gonna host it at the End Up anymore. I also heard that they're shopping the party around to different venues in the city who want to host Fag Fridays; I'm also assuming that they already found a location ever since they made the announcement. I believe that the exodus of Fag Fridays from the End Up goes to show how people have been unhappy with the End Up ever since that East Coast management company took it over earlier this year. From what I hear, the promoters of Fag Friday's are not the only people fed up with the End Up. It's sad to see such a legendary institution can be destroyed when placed into the wrong hands.

Anonymous said...

So, Sydney Leung and his group of investors no longer own it? What about Carl Hanken - I heard he reserved ownership of the building. If so, then he must be allowing this "East Coast Management" company to do what it's doing.

The Jaded Gay DJ said...

According to one very good source, Carl still owns the building, it was the business that was sold. I don't know if it was Leung and Co. who bought the business, by my understanding is that it *is* owned by a a group of partners.

Anonymous said...

Tragedy is not enough to describe the disappointment, when I first entered the bubble gum lollypop attempt at creativity that Fag Fridays has become.

Unfortunate to neither be Fag or Fridays, its disingenuous transformation was readily apparent upon entrance. David Harnesses name is the only allurement.

Stepping back, nothing is remembered only forgotten to satisfy some nascent urge to offer a slice of pie to its new clientele.

Hurried away, fun and creativity left by 3:00, which they believe represents late.

The decision to follow a Brand definitely stung, when I realized how corporate it had become. Bring new shame to the once proud Fag.

not said...

Anonymous ! WTF, have some balls and put it out there ! Interesting what the last comment about Fag was, that we've become corporate ! In the last 12 years when did you see any corporate logos on our advertising? How about never. Think again, this party is underground, house music coming out of disco...know your roots queers, or shut the fuck up.

Dave Peterson
Promoter Fag Fridays