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.