Best of the Bay 2012: BEST FAIRY EXPLOSION

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Once every year, right around Pride time in June, a fantastical fey Imaginarium of uninhibited queer art, dance, theater, ecology, lube-wrestling, puppy piles, porn debuts, and fearlessly naked fabulosity pops up in the old Tower Records building in the Castro. This is the fag-ulous Faetopia festival which, for one delirious week, complements the corporate-sponsored and slickly marketed Pride happenings with a burst of summer solstice fairy dust. The event comes courtesy of the Radical Faeries, those scruffy pan-sexual Pagan sprites whose naturist movement has a long history in the Bay Area, where they spread their gay-gay wings from untamed redwood groves to notorious Burning Man camps. More than 50 artists join forces to create programs — like Gay Hist-Orgy (performer Ian McKinnon's "cruise of gay historical figures") and Flaming Queens on Fire! (fire-dancing lessons) — that stuff some good ol' polymorphous perversity into Pride's polished corners. And at the very center? Faetopia's there too, with the hippie-chill Fairy Freedom Village area within the Civic Center festival itself.

www.faetopia.com