Drag events have that unique ability to bring fun and excitement to all areas of the community. While they’re a huge draw for the LGBT community, these events provide fun for everyone.
But what really makes a night at a drag show really stand out from the crowd? Perhaps the biggest global events will answer that question. Here are five shows that you simply cannot miss.
RuPaul’s Drag Race Tour
If one TV show seeped beyond the reaches of the LGBT community to earn a wider audience, it’s RuPaul’s Drag Race. A reality show designed to find the best drag artist around, it even drew a grudging approval from a host of straight viewers.
The good news for all is that the Drag Race is on tour and in 2019, it’s a global phenomenon. Hosted by Michelle Visage under the title of Werq the World, all of your favourite superstars from the show are here. The event takes in North America, Europe, Latin America, Asia and Australia so there really is no escape from the Drag Race phenomenon and while the Tour is already underway, it runs right through to the end of 2019 with tickets left for all remaining shows.
Michelle Visage will be your host for the live show and will introduce such great acts as Detox, Bob, Asia. Peppermint and Shangela to name just five of the cast. For fans of the TV show, this is not to be missed. Even if RuPaul’s Drag Race has skipped your radar, this is a night of pure fun that has to be seen to be believed.
Austin Drag Festival
Austin Drag Festival is a fixed event that doesn’t go out on tour – but it’s one of the longer-established events on the drag circuit. For those in the vicinity or for fans who want to make a special trip, it’s well worth the expense.
Held across four days in November, this event attracts hundreds of drag artists from all over the world and it boasts over 400 performances across the weekend. Meet and greets are available with your favourite stars while there is a drag market and even a workshop where you can learn the ropes and become a top drag act yourself.
If your appetite has been whetted by the Austin Drag Festival, the official website offers information on flights and accommodation to make this the most memorable of weekends for fans of drag.
Drag Queen Bingo
Some of the greatest drag events across the world are held in some exotic locations across far-flung corners of the globe, but for those who are confined to barracks between now and the end of the year, there is a way to enjoy your favourite drag artists in most LGBT cities – at drag queen bingo.
As drag events go, drag queen bingo perhaps an unlikely pairing in a game that is thought of more as a pastime for straight ladies over a certain age. The original concept of Drag Queen Bingo was dreamt up by Judy Werle in Seattle in the 1990s. It was a fun way for the early LGBT community to get together to play and to raise money for the AIDS charity Chicken Soup Brigade at the same time.
While the game remains popular in the US, drag queen bingo is now being held in Amsterdam, London and Berlin. It’s like conventional bingo but with a drag caller and a whole feast of fun so get dressed and look forward to a great night out. Intrigued? Head over to Wink Bingo to learn more about some of the best drag bingo events.
The festive season is the perfect time to celebrate all things relating to drag artists and events and Christmas Queens is your perfect partner. This is predominantly a UK event which has been held over the holiday season for a number of years and it tours up and down the country. There is, however, a clear focus on towns and cities with a strong LGBT community including sunny and welcoming Brighton down on the South Coast.
The show largely features the best artists from the UK but there are appearances from overseas acts, too. The festive theme is carried on throughout the performance with sketches and songs including We Three Queens and a unique LGBT friendly look at Let It Snow.
Since its launch, Christmas Queens has grown steadily in size and the 2018 tour will take in 10 dates in the UK before crossing overseas and adding a further six shows across Europe from Amsterdam to Helsinki.
Tickets are widely available from online sources but if you can’t get along, don’t worry because the official site’s webstore has a host of merchandise including CDs and downloads.
For so long, Berlin has been a mecca for drag queens, as one look at David Bowie’s music video for Boys Keep Swinging can demonstrate. Watch the video and you’ll see the Thin White Duke dressed as drag queens of various vintages. The drag scene in Germany’s capital preceded Bowie and his legacy lives on, partly in the crazy Partysane event.
In many ways, this event could be the decadent Berlin of Cabaret, and there is certainly a harder edge to the Partysane shows. The host, Gloria Viagra, is the moustache-toting temptress and this is an event that combines the best in drag entertainment with a traditional club night featuring some of the hottest DJs in town.
Not able to get to Berlin? Don’t worry – the Partysane roadshow goes on tour. In 2014, it made its London debut at the Dalston Superstore and it has been gradually making its way around Europe. This is not always a regular show on the annual drag circuit so keep a close eye out for future dates. Even if the event isn’t on the forthcoming calendar then don’t worry as you are sure to find the iconic Gloria Viagra, dubbed as the Empire State Building of the Berlin scene, in one of the many drag clubs around the city.