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Folsom East Fetish Festival Canceled Due to Construction

By Mathew Katz | April 23, 2013 10:09am

CHELSEA — West Chelsea's ever-rapid expansion has claimed another victim — the city's annual leather-clad fetish street festival.

Folsom Street East, which bills itself as "New York F---ing City's Sexiest Street Festival," will not run as planned this June.

The West 28th Street block that fetish fans flood each year is blocked up by too much construction, according to a note from organizers on the festival's website. The cancellation was first reported by Jeremiah's Vanishing New York.

"Though we continue to receive support for this community-building and fundraising event from Community Board 4 and our neighbors on the block (including our producing partner The Eagle NYC), the ever-growing construction on the north side of [West] 28th Street has made it impossible for us to successfully and safely hold our annual street festival," the note reads.

For most of its 16 years, Folsom East was surrounded by industrial sites and strip clubs. But a recent construction boom brought residential buildings to the far-flung block between 10th and 11th avenues.

Named after the legendary Folsom Street Fair in San Francisco, the party usually draws thousands of visitors and raises money for LGBT-related charitable causes.

In addition to the +aRt condo, where residents already live, construction on the two-building, 710-unit Avalon West Chelsea is also underway, which will eventually bring a 31-story tower and 13-story building to the block.

The changing dynamic already affected last year's festival — when some residents of the +aRt building complained about being "embarrassed" by the kinky revelers, leading organizers to construct a sidewalk corridor allowing residents to get to their homes without walking through Folsom East itself.

The message on Folsom East's website assured fetish-lovers that the festival would return, though it was unclear if it would be on the same block.

"Thanks for 16 great years celebrating sexual freedom with the Folsom Street East Street Festival and we hope to see you back on the kinky streets of New York City in 2014!" the site reads.

A spokeswoman for Folsom East did not immediately respond to requests for comment.