There are three times a year San Francisco's party schedule goes topsy-turvy: Halloween weekend (meaning the weekend folks celebrate Halloween, regardless of what day of the week Oct. 31 is), New Year's Eve and Day, and the last weekend in June, better known as Pride weekend. Accordingly, this column takes a slightly different tack during these three weekends, as the city's Party Rules go mostly out the window, and it can be tough to tell the wheat from the chaff. Each party is weighted equally, and you can rest assured any or all of the shindigs featured herein will be a cut above the rest.
The San Francisco Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Celebration — or just Pride for short — is certainly one of the city's most crowded weekends, as attendance for last year's festivities neared 2 million people (according to Wikipedia). As such, if you're planning to go out this weekend, be prepared for massive crowds wherever you go — this column may serve as a handy guide.
One thing to note: Even though this is Pride weekend, the parties listed here aren't exclusively Pride-centric. Living in San Francisco, nearly every party on any given weekend is at least a little bit gay (at least the parties worth going to, that is) — so the focus here is on excellent, forward-thinking club music, as per usual. Without further ado — read on and party on!
Other worthy parties this week
Lights Down Low and Mighty present Horse Meat Disco and MikeQ at Mighty, 10 p.m.-3 a.m. Thursday, June 25. $20-$25; mighty119.com
If you're looking to kick off a weekend of Pride debauchery, there's no better place to do it than here. Lights Down Low is throwing a Pride bash at Mighty featuring two artists from around the world with a very different approach, but a similar theme. Horse Meat Disco began as a Sunday club night in London with a disco-focused sound and a pansexual crowd that eventually became so popular the DJs began touring the world, bringing its sound and vibe around the globe. Meanwhile, MikeQ is a New York-based DJ and producer who is at the forefront of the vogue and ballroom resurgence across the States. They're joined by Myles Cooper, impresario of San Francisco's biggest little drag show High Fantasy, and LDL residents Richie and Corey.
Club Lonely presents There Are Dreams & There Is Escape at OMG, 9 p.m.-3 a.m. Saturday, June 27. $5; clubomgsf.com
If you don't want to think at all about what to do Saturday night of Pride weekend, this is the party for you. Club Lonely, a new party in San Francisco composed of local residents focusing on house music of all kinds, is throwing a little Pride Saturday shindig, this time with a couple special guests: Robert Yang (aka Bézier, Honey Soundsystem synth hero) and Charlie McCloud (aka Matrixxman, San Francisco's premier digital ambassador and exporter of pitch-perfect drum workouts). It's cheap, easy, and fun — just like you. And there's a dome above the dancefloor. And a fog machine. What more do you want?
Housepitality Pride Weekend Edition featuring Chloé, Tyrel Williams, Sean Murray, and more at Monarch, 9:30 p.m.-3 a.m. Saturday, June 27. $10-$15; monarchsf.com
Weekday warriors know Housepitality very well by now — the long-running Wednesday-night weekly has a consistently crowded dancefloor (sometimes making Wednesday night look more action-packed than Friday night) and a diverse booking strategy. Pride Weekend means it's doing a one-off on Saturday night, featuring French DJ Chloé, who has a flair for shuffling, funky deep house with a disco edge. Joining her are the Housepitality cast and crew, led by Tyrel Williams, the Chicago-turned-San Francisco transplant whose knack for mixing vinyl must be seen to be believed; also on deck are fellow residents Sean Murray, Victor Vega, and Bai-ee providing the soundtrack to Monarch's rave cave, while Joel Conway and Mike Bee commandeer the groove lounge upstairs.
Pink Mammoth Summertime Block Party with Derrick Carter, J.Phlip, and more at Mighty, noon-4 a.m. Saturday, June 27. $20-$30; mighty119.com
Now in its third year, Burning Man theme camp Pink Mammoth is hosting a massive 16-hour indoor-outdoor block party fundraiser for its annual outing to the playa. And while Burning Man parties tend to be notably Burner-centric, rarely featuring “outsider” DJs, this year Pink Mammoth has gone all out and is bringing out a stacked lineup to headline its block party. House legend Derrick Carter leads the pack; the man is pretty much the embodiment of Chicago house music. He's joined by J.Phlip, a San Francisco native and part of local tech-house label Dirtybird; Jon Charnis, an up-and-comer affiliated with Lee Burridge's All Day I Dream imprint; and local hero David Harness, whose history with house music runs deep.
Honey Soundsystem Pride Sunday with DJ Minx and Mystic Bill at Mighty, 8 p.m.-4 a.m. Sunday, June 28. $20-$30; mighty119.com
Honey Soundsystem is officially a thing. Eight years on, the four-man crew is now a global force, taking its sound and vibe on the road to clubs around the world. If you've been to any of its parties, you'll know why the group has made it internationally — the members are all phenomenal DJs with their own unique styles between them. More than just that, its parties feel like celebratory, revelatory spaces, which is why Pride Sunday is something akin to Honey's homecoming; on this night it celebrates everything it stands for: men, music, and merriment. Special guests DJ Minx from Detroit and Mystic Bill from D.C., both talented selectors in their own right.