RuPaul's DragCon UK

RuPaul's DragCon UK was an expo of drag culture held 18-19 January 2020 at the Olympia London in West Kensington, London, England.[1][2][3][4] It was based on the successful RuPaul's DragCon LA, the original event started in 2015 billed as a “convention that celebrates ‘the art of drag, queer culture and self-expression for all’”, which debuted in 2015, and RuPaul's DragCon NYC, which started in 2017.[5] All three are based off the popular television series RuPaul's Drag Race which has popularized drag queens in the mainstream culture starting in 2009.[6] The same company of all the properties, World of Wonder, has worked with RuPaul to also produce the international Werq the World tour, and RuPaul's Drag Race Live! which features queens from the series.

At DragCon attendees could meet the artists and drag queens, take in panel discussions, main stage performances, and buy related merchandise from the queens and industry-related products like drag, make-up, and wigs.[7] The event also features a Kids Zone.[7] Performers and presenters includeD series namesake RuPaul, co-judge Michele Visage, and dozens of Drag Race queens.[7] Instinct reported, DragCon UK has “all the signature events of DragCon, from panels to meet and greets to main stage performances.”[8] Educational panels include “discussions about LGBTQ+ rights, fashion, and the history of drag”.[5][9]

IndieWire noted that DragCon was similar to the annual Burning Man art festival in that attendees exhibit radical self-expression, the culture is participatory and inclusive, and what is presented is ephemeral.[10]

BackgroundEdit

RuPaul’s DragCon UK is the third DragCon, and is based on the successful RuPaul's DragCon LA, the original event started in 2015, and RuPaul's DragCon NYC, which started in 2017.[11][12] The two U.S. DragCons the world’s largest drag culture events, with over 100,000 attendees.[13] All three are based off the popular television series RuPaul's Drag Race which has popularized drag queens in the mainstream culture since 2009.[14][15][6] The same company of all the properties, World of Wonder, has worked with RuPaul to also produce the international Werq the World tour, and RuPaul's Drag Race Live! which features queens from the series.[16]

At DragCon attendees can meet the artists and drag queens, take in panel discussions, main stage performances, and buy related merchandise from the queens and industry-related products like drag, make-up, and wigs.[7] The event also featured a Kids Zone.[7]

DragCon UK followed on the October 2019 premiere of “RuPaul’s Drag Race UK”, which is the latest international version of the show.[17] DragCon UK is the third version of DragCon, the first was DragCon LA which has occurred annually for five years as of 2019.[18][17] World of Wonder co-founder Randy Barbato said of the UK expansions, “It’s about the energy, it’s about the positive attitude towards life, and I think more than anything else that’s what we want this to be about ... That’s what we want people to take from this and spread it like a contagion all over the world. It’s not that we’re the ground zero of resistance, we’re sort of the ground zero of the future and of what our world can be.”[17]

DragCon UK is not this first drag convention in the city, or even at the same venue. The Olympia London has hosted the dragcon DragWorld UK for three years with queens from Drag Race along with UK performers and companies.[19] In 2019, the two-day event had more than 10,000 attendees.[20] As of August 2019, DragWorld is Europe’s biggest drag event.[6]

HistoryEdit

RuPaul’s DragCon UK was announced at RuPaul's DragCon NYC 8 September 2019 by RuPaul’s longtime friend, and Drag Race co-judge Michelle Visage from the main stage while introducing the queens of first season of RuPaul's Drag Race UK.[21][22] The show started filming in March 2019, and aired in October the same year.[23] Instinct reported, DragCon UK “will have all the signature events of DragCon, from panels to meet and greets to main stage performances.”[8]

2020 premiereEdit

The premiere of RuPaul’s DragCon UK took place 18-19 January 2020 at the Olympia London in West Kensington, London, England.[7] DragCon UK tickets ranged from £40 - £200.[7]

Presenters and performersEdit

Attitude reported, “Drag Race's Emmy-winning host RuPaul will DJ on the Main Stage on both Saturday and Sunday.”[18] Drag Race co-host and longtime friend Michelle Visage, who was nationally seen on the reality show Strictly Come Dancing earlier in 2019, was omitted from that project’s annual tour because she was scheduled for DragCon on that tour’s opening weekend.[24] Other confirmed presenters and performers:[7]


EventsEdit

On Sunday World of Wonder announced two docuseries shows to be aired on WOW Presents Plus, their international streaming service.[32] The two include: God Shave the Queens!, a series following RuPaul’s Drag Race UK cast with Alyssa Edwards on a six-stop tour through the U.K.; and a yet-to-be titled Trinity Taylor (AS4) pageant project following her new company, Florida Entertainer of the Year Preliminary Pageant, as contestants vie to become nationally known at the finals for National Entertainer of the Year.[32]

Community safe spaceEdit

RuPaul's Drag Race co-judge and RuPaul’s best friend, Michelle Visage, who has a child in the cosplay community, shared that DragCons are a safe space for the all-ages and LGBTQ communities.[33] Possibly the only one many of the attendees have ever experienced, where being different and LGBTQ is celebrated.[33] Visage stated,

“It’s a safety zone for these kids to know they won’t be judged, they won’t be heckled, they won’t be jeered, it will all be cheers and love and community."[33]

In addition to the Kids Zone, DragCon has Drag Queen Story Hours and a Kids Fashion Show.[34] DragCon UK had many children attendees including those who dressed in drag.[35][36]

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Due to passport issues, Vanessa Vanjie Mateo didn't attend RuPaul's Drag Con UK.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Yates, Jonathan (October 3, 2019). "How to see the RuPaul's Drag Race UK stars live this year". Wales Online. Retrieved November 18, 2019.
  2. ^ "RuPaul's DragCon UK Was Just Announced! | What A Drag Blog". What A Drag. 2019-09-08. Retrieved 2019-09-08.
  3. ^ "RuPaul's 2019 DragCon". Fashion 360 Magazine. Retrieved November 18, 2019.
  4. ^ "RuPaul vient d'annoncer une toute nouvelle émission". TÊTU (in French). 2019-10-23. Retrieved 2019-11-18.
  5. ^ a b Poe, Matthew (June 1, 2015). "Queen of All He Surveys: A Weekend Inside RuPaul's Drag Empire". IndieWire. Retrieved January 28, 2020.
  6. ^ a b c Abraham, Amelia (August 10, 2019). "'Finally! A sport for us gay people!': how drag went mainstream". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved November 16, 2019. “So at what point did drag move from niche to mainstream concern? It was TV production company World of Wonder that first put RuPaul’s TV show Drag Race on screens in 2009, leading to the show enveloping popular culture during its 11 seasons (and being partly responsible for why so many people use words such as “fierce”, “werk” and “shade”). ”
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i Yates, Jonathan (October 18, 2019). "Vanessa Vanjie Mateo, Shea Coulee and more join RuPaul's DragCon lineup". My London. Retrieved November 16, 2019.
  8. ^ a b Cook, Michael (September 15, 2019). "RuPaul's DragCon Brings The Magic Of Drag To The UK In 2020!". Instinct (magazine). Retrieved November 18, 2019.
  9. ^ "Biggest entertainment events in London at the start of 2020". The Upcoming. January 16, 2020. Retrieved January 23, 2020.
  10. ^ Poe, Matthew (June 1, 2015). "Queen of All He Surveys: A Weekend Inside RuPaul's Drag Empire". IndieWire. Retrieved January 28, 2020.
  11. ^ a b Yates, Jonathan (October 1, 2019). "Bob The Drag Queen, Miz Cracker and more join RuPaul's DragCon lineup". My London. Retrieved November 16, 2019.
  12. ^ Ifeanyi, K. C. (September 10, 2019). "Check out the drama, fashion, and wit on display at New York DragCon". Fast Company. Retrieved November 19, 2019.
  13. ^ Cook, Michael (September 21, 2019). "New York City welcomes RuPaul's DragCon NYC". Out In Jersey. Retrieved November 16, 2019.
  14. ^ Harper, Leah (October 3, 2019). "Gold liner, liquid lipstick and eyelash glue precision: drag queen tips for everyday makeup". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved November 19, 2019.
  15. ^ Montgomery, Hugh (October 2, 2019). "Is RuPaul's Drag Race good for drag?". BBC. Retrieved November 19, 2019.
  16. ^ Doonan, Simon (September 30, 2019). "Meet the men behind RuPaul's Drag Race: 'We're bringing bawdiness back to the UK' | Herald Publicist". Herald Publicist. Retrieved November 16, 2019.
  17. ^ a b c Biese, Alex (September 9, 2019). "RuPaul's DragCon NYC: Love, joy and drag take center stage in Manhattan". Asbury Park Press. Retrieved November 18, 2019.
  18. ^ a b "RuPaul's DragCon is coming to the UK for the first time". [[Attitude (magazine)|]]. September 9, 2019. Retrieved November 18, 2019.
  19. ^ Yates, Jonathan (September 24, 2019). "RuPaul's DragCon UK at London's Olympia - tickets, lineup and more". My London/Get West London. Retrieved November 16, 2019.
  20. ^ "The drag queens of England are booming, thanks to unexpected new fans: Lip-stick it to the man". The Economist. August 22, 2019. ISSN 0013-0613. Retrieved November 16, 2019.
  21. ^ Damshenas, Sam (September 9, 2019). "RuPaul's DragCon is officially coming to the UK - here's how to get tickets". Gay Times. Retrieved November 16, 2019.
  22. ^ TV news desk (September 8, 2019). "RuPaul's Dragcon Dazzles With 100,000 Attendees in 2019". Broadway World. Retrieved November 16, 2019.
  23. ^ Street, Mikelle (May 14, 2019). "Cheryl, Little Mix, and Maisie Williams to Judge 'Drag Race UK'". Out (magazine). Retrieved November 16, 2019.
  24. ^ Ingate, Kathryn (November 17, 2019). "Michelle Visage: Strictly star 'at war' with BBC bosses after being snubbed from tour". Daily Express. Retrieved November 19, 2019.
  25. ^ a b c d e f g h i Street, Mikelle (December 20, 2019). "A Cock Destroyer Is Coming to DragCon". [[Out (magazine)|]]. Retrieved January 1, 2020.
  26. ^ a b c d e Bernard, Daisy (December 17, 2019). "A RuPaul's Drag Race Festival Is Coming To The UK". Tyla. Retrieved January 1, 2020.
  27. ^ a b c d Earp, Catherine (January 4, 2020). "RuPaul's DragCon is coming to the UK with Michelle Visage, Bianca Del Rio and many more". Digital Spy. Retrieved January 16, 2020.
  28. ^ Pennell, Jess (November 11, 2019). "RuPaul's DragCon UK 2020: meet the queens". Voice of London. Retrieved November 18, 2019.
  29. ^ "RuPaul's DragCon UK: Bob The Drag Queen, Miz Cracker and more join lineup". News ITN. October 1, 2019. Retrieved November 18, 2019.
  30. ^ a b c Noble, Will (December 16, 2019). "Yas Queen! Meet The Entire Cast Of RuPaul's Drag Race UK This January". Londonist. Retrieved January 1, 2020.
  31. ^ Westhead, Ian (December 26, 2019). "Dull January gets colourful with RuPaul's DragCon". ATV Today. Retrieved January 1, 2020.
  32. ^ a b Barraclough, Leo (January 19, 2020). "'RuPaul's Drag Race' Producers To Helm Two Docu-Series for Wow Presents Plus". Decider. Retrieved January 22, 2020.
  33. ^ a b c Biese, Alex (August 29, 2019). "RuPaul's DragCon NYC returns for 2019: 'The most fun I've ever had'". USA Today. Retrieved 2019-08-30.
  34. ^ Dzurillay, Julia (August 31, 2019). "Is DragCon for Children? Here Are Some Kids Activities at RuPaul's DragCon NYC 2019". Showbiz Cheat Sheet. Retrieved 2019-09-09.
  35. ^ Smith, Reiss (January 20, 2020). "Baga Chipz, Sum Ting Wong and Derrick Barry weigh in on the DragCon UK 'pandemonium'". PinkNews. Retrieved January 22, 2020.
  36. ^ Gage, Simon (January 17, 2020). "Weekend: The Vivienne, winner of RuPaul's Drag Race UK, tells Metro why it's next step Hollywood". Metro Newspaper UK. Retrieved January 23, 2020.