By Codi Fant
Photography by Tom Haonan Zhou
This past weekend saw the return of one of Brooklyn’s biggest drag festivals, Bushwig. A two-day Drag extravaganza established in 2012 by Brooklyn Queens Horrorchata and Babes Trust, Bushwig featured performers from all over the world, as well as incredible artists, music, and food. The festival welcomes all types to its dance floor, creating an affirming environment for queer folk of all sorts. This year the sold-out festival was held at The Knockdown Center in Queens, an enormous warehouse space large enough to accommodate the over 150 performers on two separate stages, in addition to the artist vendors, food stalls, and, of course, a mass of heel wearing, glitter splattered guests. For those who missed this incredible event, lucky for you we have the rundown.
The first day of Bushwig wasted no time getting the party started. With a sprawl of food and bar stalls outside, the warehouse was already rocking with performers and a huge crowd by the middle of the afternoon. Performer after performer graced the main stage serving a variety of different drag interpretations—from mainstream and alternative drag, to avantgarde, gender bending performances, the crowd got a taste of everything. Highlights of the day included Munroe Lilly giving an ethereal burlesque strip tease, Candy Sterling gifting us with a masterpiece in choreography, Mini Horrorwitz stomping Hitler in the face to the cheers of the masses, and the uninhibited Charlene giving gender a huge “fuck you” to the tune of Melissa Etheridge’s “I'm The Only One”. Of course, we can't forget the marvelous performances of Bushwig founder Horrorchata and headliner Alyssa Edwards. Saturday also featured musical performances by Boy Radio and raunchy rapper Cupcakke.
The second day of the festival showed no signs of slowing down. Sunday blessed us with performances from Queens such as Desiree Dik, who gave us an ode to “Artpop” era Gaga, and Ruby Roo, who worked bathrobe chic and multiple onstage outfit changes. With the venue packed to the brim with so many fabulous people, performers and enthusiasts alike, festival-goers sashayed on into the night.
This year’s Bushwig was a resounding success, just peruse our exclusive photos above to see for yourself. See you next year, Bushwig!
In the making of DRØME we hope to showcase a community of doers and nourish an attitude of empathy in a world that teaches us to pass judgment rather than practice kindness. The stories, images, and people shared in this magazine are an amalgamation of perspectives often overlooked or explicitly excluded from art and media worlds. The dearth of diverse identities and viewpoints within the arts is harrowing, especially for a young generation that is fighting its hardest to overcome conservative notions of order ultimately practiced as acts of discrimination against the very people and things we find most inspiring. In DRØME, the featured creators and creations encourage us to never shy away from who we are and what we want. Each artist, in sharing their story, embodies their own definition of agency. Against a mainstream ideology that indoctrinates patriarchal, capitalist, and hateful theories turned into policy, the artists in our first issue represent the ways in which art can take power back from society's denigrating control.