Issue:  Vol. 47 / No. 49 / 7 December 2017
 

Treasure Island porn company posts reminders of Folsom Street Fair ban

Just in time for San Francisco’s Folsom Street Fair (Sunday, September 25), Treasure Island Media – the porn company most famous for its barebacking videos – is reminding people that it’s been banned from the fair.

The company recently put up signs outside its offices at 351 9th Street that say “Banned. Come see why.” The signs (seen at right) encourage people to come to the patch of street outside their offices Sunday.

Folsom Street Events Executive Director Demetri Moshoyannis was clearly annoyed when asked about the ban, telling the Bay Area Reporter that covering the 86′ing is “lame” and “I don’t think it’s news.”

“They haven’t been allowed back to the fair for several years now, because they refuse to follow our exhibitor guidelines,” Moshoyannis said. “It’s as simple as that.” He estimated the porn company’s been banned for at least three years.

He said the blacklisting has “nothing to do with the fact they’re a bareback porn company,” and explained that exhibitors aren’t supposed to allow sex in their booth spaces.

Moshoyannis said he doesn’t want the fair jeopardized, apparently afraid of actions the city might take if rules on public sex are broken.

“Just don’t get the fair in trouble,” Moshoyannis said. “I don’t want to see the community suffer because of a bunch of idiots.” The fair raises hundreds of thousands of dollars each year for nonprofits.

Treasure Island was asked repeatedly to stop violating the sex policy before they were kicked out, Moshoyannis said, to no avail.

“They have figured out ways to still be involved,” he said, including setting up shop in Mack – Folsom Prison, at 1285 Folsom Street. He said the sex club is an indoor venue that “just happens to be on the fairgrounds.”

He said the ban is unrelated to the movie Treasure Island made a few years ago with the words “Folsom Street Fair” in the title. He said Folsom Street officials had warned the company against the title and issued a cease and desist order.

“You’re not supposed to film on the fair grounds and use ‘Folsom Street Fair’ without consulting us,” Moshoyannis said. “We have copyright protections.”

Treasure Island General Manager Matt Mason said the company’s been banned since 2009. He said a request for a booth that year was denied because, a Folsom Street exhibitors official told them, they’d broken the rules the previous year. Violations included encouraging unsafe sex practices in the booth space, according to a letter the fair volunteer sent to Treasure Island.

Mason said there had been people having sex in the company’s booth area, and “We’re not protesting that these acts didn’t happen.”

Some of the people who’d engaged in the sex in question have appeared in Treasure Island films, he said. Someone posted photos of the acts on one of the company’s websites.

“There’s nothing we really want to defend,” he said. “…We’re raising money to benefit others. If [Folsom Street doesn’t] want our money, they don’t want it.” He didn’t know how much a booth would have cost them this year, since they haven’t applied.

Folsom Street Events has a trademark in several product categories on the word “Folsom.” That appears to have led to more trouble between Treasure Island and fair officials.

Mason said his company tried to make a lube with a name that included “Folsom,” and even though the product was never made, Folsom Street officials “said we couldn’t come back to the fair.”

Additionally, the Treasure Island film “Plantin’ Seed (Folsom Underground)” also irked fair organizers, he said.

As Moshoyannis said, the ban hasn’t stopped Treasure Island from coming being involved with the fair.

Mason said that in 2009, Treasure Island joined Dark Alley Media at their booth and sold DVDs. Nobody from the fair said anything to them at the time, he said.

In 2010, he said, Treasure Island held an event in a garage adjoining Mack – Folsom Prison that included selling DVDs.

Moshoyannis said nobody else has been banned from the fair, although “We’ve had to give other companies warnings from time to time.” The others “usually comply right away,” he said.

Asked whether he knew what the signs’ plea to “Come see why” might mean, Moshoyannis said, “No, but it certainly got your attention, didn’t it? … You’re writing a story about nothing, and they got you to write a story about nothing.”

Mason explained the publicity ploy. Anyone expecting porn stars practicing their craft in the middle of Ninth Street will likely be disappointed.

He said the company would be selling DVDs in the lobby and giving away T-shirts and other goods “so our fans know we still are there, and we still represent them.” He added that whether people use condoms or prefer barebacking, “freedom of sex is what we support.”

— Seth Hemmelgarn, September 21, 2011 @ 4:05 pm PST
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