What if I were to tell you that San Francisco had a dance party celebrating Britney Spears’ Blackout album in its entirety? I got your attention? Fabulous. You’ve just walked into Fake and Gay, a dance night filled with hyper pop and bubblegum bass.
“FAKE and GAY began as a reaction to the club scene around me,” Founder and DJ Adam Kraft told Instinct Magazine. “I wanted to create an event that didn’t take itself so seriously.”
To describe Fake and Gay, it comes from the internet meme from gay men commenting on other gay men’s post and questioning its legitimacy. Kraft saw the event as an oxymoron- an authentic falsified experience.
“It’s a funny, ironic take on what it means to be a queer party now,” Kraft added. “It’s taking different elements of a typical gay party and putting a cheeky spin on it, like if an alien visited Earth and all they did was go to a gay party and tried to replicate it but they don’t understand the context so everything is slightly off.”
Kraft wanted to blend music and performance in a way that felt more like an ongoing party, rather than segments of the night.
Fake and Gay has been circulating in the San Francisco scene for over a year and eagerly wanted to showcase Britney Spears’ fifth album, Blackout.
“Every time I listen to that album I have a different favorite song,” said Kraft. “Something about it feels so simple, but also experimental, and just pure pop perfection with a dark twist. It’s universally adored. Even when I’ve talked to underground music heads about it and they initially turn their noses up because it’s Britney, and after a listen they are surprised they can admit it’s genuinely great.”
Released in 2007, the Blackout album came out during a time when Spears was struggling with personal issues amidst media speculation. But with Spears credited as executive producer, her style and input created one of her best albums to date.
“Blackout is an avant-disco concept album about getting famous, not giving a fuck, getting divorced, not giving a [damn], getting publicly mocked and despised and humiliated,” Rolling Stone reported 10 years after the album was released. “It’s an album about dancing on tables in a cloud of glitter and Cheeto dust. But mostly it’s an album about not giving a fuck, which is why it sounds perfect for grim times like these.”
For the past year, Fake and Gay has been located at San Francisco’s gay bar, the Stud.
“The Stud feels like home for me and for so many other people,” said Kraft. “I know I can walk in there and feel comfortable, and they always have an array of events happening. It’s the perfect size and welcoming atmosphere for the environment I’m trying to create.”
Fake and Gay has also spotlighted local drag queens from San Francisco.
“San Francisco Drag is so special and unique and I think creative people in general often get overlooked here,” Kraft commented. “You really have to have passion and dedication to your craft and the city itself if you are sticking it out hustling trying to get by in one of the most expensive cities in the world, without the chance of fame that would be necessary to make it sustainable.”
In past events, Fake and Gay has showcased a tribute to Charli XCX’s Pop 2 and a lip sync tournament called Bubblegum Bass Battle.
“One of the goals I have with FAKE and GAY is to be able to create something strong enough to be able to afford to bring more performers with me when traveling to other cities because so many people here deserve more recognition for their talent,” said Kraft.
Fake and Gay has now expanded to other locations across the country like Seattle with hopes of bringing it to Los Angeles, Chicago and Miami and brought the event to Sunnyvale Brooklyn last month.
Fake and Gay is every third Saturday of the month.