The Queens of Bushwig Reveal Why the Annual Festival Is Important

Bushwig drag queens
Photo by Maro Hagopian; Art Direction by Sasha Zabelina

A group of drag performers scheduled to appear at Bushwig.

This weekend in New York City, the Coachella of drag returns to New York City in the 2018 Bushwig Festival. Taking place at the Knockdown Center in Maspeth, Queens, Bushwig celebrates the weird and wonderful aspects of drag, providing a platform for the drag stars who refuse to put themselves into any box.

In an age where drag has reached peak-levels of pop culture prominence, Billboard Pride reached out to 7 of the performers at this weekend’s festival to ask them the question: “What makes Bushwig special?” Check out the answers from some of Bushwig’s biggest stars, including Sasha Velour, Aja and more, below:

Miss Toto

Bushwig has become more than just a festival to me. It has become family. Each time I participate in a Bushwig event, I not only get to see familiar faces from my created, queer family, but I make so many more friends and memorable experiences after each one. Bushwig allows us to create connections within our community, and showcase what we do to a large audience of people.

Miss Malice

Bushwig is special because, like the Brooklyn drag scene more broadly, this festival shows us that there are so many ways to "do drag" and to be a queer performer. As big as it’s gotten, it still retains that family vibe, and, true to its roots, it continues to carve out space (onstage and off) for queer and trans folks of all identities a d expressions. That’s the ethos of Brooklyn drag, and at Bushwig we get to celebrate the work of a wide variety of performers while sharing this vision of an inclusive, diverse drag community with an increasingly larger audience.


Bushwig is extremely important because there is a stage for any performer. It’s more than just a drag festival -- it’s a celebration of breaking all the boundaries and constructs society has placed on us. Everyone is welcome and no one is judged.

Untitled Queen

Bushwig is your backyard bbq hangout.

Bushwig is the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.

Bushwig is the Garden of Earthly delights but on more acid.

It is the 8th Wonder of a futurepresent world,

A marvel of queenkingallinbetweenandbeyond-kind.

It is at once epic and intimate. Immediate and timeless.

It is our witching hour, where we can convene

and celebrate what we love to do and who we love to do it with.


--THE DOG DAYS ARE OVER-- -- by @helixpinecombphotos #neoncalypso #bostondrag #dragqueen

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Neon Calypso

Bushwig is special because it creates a safe space for queer artists and entertainers -- whether it be drag, live music, comedy, fashion or art -- to present themselves in a way that doesn’t have to be questioned or defined by the audience. Bushwig is special to me because I wouldn’t be where I am in my career If it wasn’t for performing on that stage. Horrorchata, Merrie Cherry, and the entire Bushwig family welcomed me with open arms and allowed me to present my passion for entertainment to the Brooklyn community & the world!

Sasha Velour

Bushwig celebrates all forms of drag by all kinds of people. It now has international proportions, but still carries that signature neighborhood attitude: a love of invention, an empowering message, and a deeply unpredictable environment! Inspiration and trauma guaranteed!

K. James

Bushwig is special because it is a collective celebration with and of our drag community and family. Drag can encompass any kind of performance that plays with gender and the body, and Bushwig offers a unique platform to highlight the wide-ranging performance styles of the local Brooklyn scene and beyond.