The recent boom of experimental drag in Brooklyn (and especially Bushwick) has bubbled up in DIY spaces, bars and frequent parties in the past few years, members of the movement said. It’s led to the birth of “Bushwig,” Bushwick’s first ever drag festival later this month at the venue Secret Project Robot.
“It’s going to be a touchpoint for everyone doing different sorts of drag, all sorts of experimentation, a melting pot,” said Babes Trust, born as Simon Leahy, who conceived of the all-day outdoor festival along with Matty Horrorchata (born as Matthew Mendoza).
Trust, a British musician who started London’s “Tranny Olympics” fest six years ago, which spread to Berlin and Stockholm, said she’s been struck by the abundance of experimental performance and artistic drag in Brooklyn since she moved to Bushwick 18 months ago.
But the burgeoning movement, bigger than London’s and more diverse than Manhattan’s, lacked a central hub — so she and Horrorchata took inspiration from the East Village’s past Wigstock drag fest of the 1980s and 1990s.
“I’m kind of scared,” she said. “We’re putting 30 drunk queens in one space,” she giggled about the upcoming extravaganza as she adjusted her strapless white taffeta gown in the Don Pedro basement Monday before sauntering on stage. “I’m sure there’s going to be a teensy bit of drama.”
But the Sept. 29 festival — free for kids under 12 and open to all ages (if “parents are liberal,” Trust noted) — also promises explosive energy and a string of surprises, with Monday night’s handful of performers already captivating their audience.
Bushwig will be held 3 — 11 p.m. Sept. 29 at Secret Project Robot on 389 Melrose St. Tickets are $10, or $5 for people dressed in drag.
More information at Secret Project Robot.