Bushwig Festival Returns, Bringing Drag and Queerness Center Stage

*Photo credit: Mettie Ostrowski

Bushwig Festival is back with a fierce vengeance and it’s fighting for queer expression for all. 

The world’s largest drag & music festival returns for the 12th year and it’s at its most fabulous. Since 2012, Bushwig has been a community event organized by trans, Black, and Latine artists giving local and international drag performers the chance to hit the stage, share their artistry with queer audiences, and simply slay. Taking place on September 9th and 10th, the festival features two days of non-stop drag, music, dancing, and nearly 200 performers to entertain the masses. 

48 hours of drag? Sign us up.

This year’s festival takes place at The Knockdown Center (52-19 Flushing Ave) in the New York City borough of Queens, where Bushwig will put the queer community and drag first. Performers and attendees from all over the world will come to New York to celebrate the fabulous art form and this time, the celebration isn’t just personal, it’s political.

494 anti-LGBTQ+ bills and counting are popping up around the United States. Many of them target drag performers, making their artistry, livelihoods, and existence a criminal offense. But drag artists, like Bushwig co-founder Horrorchata, plan to push through with the strength of our community.

“This year has been extra challenging and more emotional than usual due to the current political climate and culture war,” Horrorchata said. “Over Pride Month, we saw the strength of our big beautiful LGBTQIA+ community which signaled that we cannot be silenced. Love will always win.”

With continued, right-wing, political attacks, Bushwig becomes a safe haven for drag artists and the LGBTQ+ community. 

“In response to the culture war, we are upping security budgets,” Horrorchata added. “All our security are fully trained & we have strict briefs every morning of the festival with the team to ensure everyone’s safety. Bushwig has always been a space of pure freedom and self-expression and we will continue to be in the face of all forms of hate.” 

But this Bushwig Festival will not only be one about protecting the community, but also one on remembering those we’ve lost. The Bushwig family lost one of its co-founders and community organizers, Simone Moss aka Babes Trust, earlier in August, but plan to honor her legacy with the 12th annual festival.

“We are deeply saddened about the sudden unexpected passing of our co-founder, Simone Babes Trust,” Horrorchata said. “This year, Bushwig will honor and celebrate her memory. Babes was an icon who inspired countless performers and friends to be bold, fearless, and innovative, and our whole Bushwig family and our lineup will be imbued with her spirit in 2023.”

Bushwig is a global phenomenon that celebrates anyone and is for everyone. Now, it returns to remind everyone of that fact.

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