RuPaul’s DragCon takes London Olympia by storm

Last weekend saw the first ever RuPaul’s DragCon UK take place at London Olympia in Kensington. Flamboyant Drag Race host and Emmy ® Award-winner RuPaul ceremoniously cut the glossy pink ribbon, surrounded by Drag Race judge Michelle Visage and Queens including The Vivienne, Baga Chipz, Bob The Drag Queen, Blu Hydrangea and Trinity the Tuck, to officially open this very special weekend of all things drag and fabulous.
During the weekend, RuPaul said : “DragCon has always been a safe space where people can discover and bring to life their true and unique-self and I am honoured to have hosted this in the UK for this first time. Thank you to everyone involved for making DragCon UK a home for all this past weekend”

Photo by Tristan Fewings/Getty Images for World Of Wonder Productions

The glitter-filled weekend extravaganza, created by RuPaul and World of Wonder Productions, included the infamous Queens Walk at 10.30a, on Saturday morning which myself and drag loving gang just about managed to make on time.

We had been brimming with excitement at the thought of joining this epic funfest for weeks and had even given ourselves special drag queen/king names for the day – Micheal Dragson, Audrey Hepboob, Adore Matt and Za Za GaWhore.

Image credit: Samira Msaad

Queen after queen – extravagantly dressed with immaculate Drag-chic make up sashayed elegantly down the pink carpet – stopping to strike immaculate poses by the excitable journalists.  We were particularly titilated when Baga Chips minced past us wearing a cheeky French maid’s outfit before giving a cheeky flash of her knickers.

Drag Race UK winner The Vivienne then proceeded to kick of the blingtastic day with an exclusive VIP performance on the main stage before RuPaul took to the decks to DJ for a jubilant crowd, with many avid Drag Race fans dancing on the raised dancefloor.

Photo by Tristan Fewings/Getty Images for World Of Wonder Productions

RuPaul’s DragCon UK was filled with extreme levels of Yay and featured a pleasing plethora of Queens and other celebrity talent for performances, meet and greets, panels and more.

These included RuPaul, Michelle Visage, Alexis Mateo, Asia O’Hara, Baga Chipz, Bianca Del Rio, Blair St Clair, Blu Hydrangea, Bob the Drag Queen, Charlie Hides, Cheryl Hole, Crystal, Derrick Barry and the lavishly dressed Divina De Campo.

“The reception given from everyone here at DragCon UK has once again made us realise how fortunate we are to be a part of this ever-evolving and growing community” said World of Wonder’s Fenton Bailey. “We announced and previewed two new original shows, ‘Untitled Trinity the Tuck Project’ and ‘God Shave The Queens’ to our expanding catalogue on WOW Presents Plus and we will continue to bring thought-provoking and original content to the platform. We are thankful to everyone involved and can’t wait to see everyone in the future.”

Photo by Tristan Fewings/Getty Images for World Of Wonder Productions

Other Instagram-worthy performances on the Bud Light sponsored Main Stage across the weekend included Baga Chipz, Denique, Donna Trump, Drag Syndrome, India Ferrah,  Sum Ting Wong, The Frock Destroyers and Virgin Xtravaganzah, as well as a guest performance from former S Club 7 star Tina Barrett.

Bob The Drag Queen and Monet X Change brought their hit podcast Sibling Rivalry to DragCon UK for an exclusive live taping.

Bob The Drag Queen had plenty to say about the UK: “The real Queen of England is The Vivienne”; “Hamptons in America are really really posh, here not so much”; “I love Primark – it’s the greatest treasure in the world”

Photo by Tristan Fewings/Getty Images for World Of Wonder Productions

Blair St. Clair treated the winner of Channel 4’s The Great British Bake-Off David Atherton to a full-on Celebrity Drag Makeover to, while Blu Hydrangea brought her make-up talent to the stage with Blu’s Beats Live X MUA and created the ultimate ‘glowy drag beat’ on TOWIE royalty Harry Derbridge. And talking more glam was sponsor POP Beauty’s creative director Sara Strand who discussed the power of self-expression through make up, with super Queens Laila McQueen and Mariah Paris Balenciaga.

Photo by Tristan Fewings/Getty Images for World Of Wonder Productions

The hugely popular Kids Zone, an interactive fully dedicated space for kids, was a massively popular attraction for families, and included Drag Queen Story Time, arts and crafts, a bounce house, crown making, and more. The Kids Fashion Show also took place on the Main Stage and saw kids of all ages vogueing, strutting and being their fabulous selves – we spotted a few Baga Chips mini mees.

Photo by Tristan Fewings/Getty Images for World Of Wonder Productions

Other activities at DragCon UK included Lip Sync For Your Life: Singles and Lip Sync For Your Life: Groups, giving visitors the chance to grace the Main Stage themselves, and an exciting meet, greet and sign with Cheryl Hole – one of the most popular queens of the event.
There were laughs a plenty when actor and comedian Daniel Franzese brought stand-up comedy to DragCon UK with some of the funniest emerging LGBTQ+ talent in the UK at his panel Danny Franzese & The House of Glen Coco, while Michelle Visage and Giovanni Pernice discussed their friendship at their TV Friendships That Last Forever panel.

Drag has always had an influence on the music industry, even more so now then ever before, which was explored in the Rock N’Drag: How Drag Influenced My Music panel, with Queens and special musical guests talking about their experiences in the music industry

I particularly adored the Great British Camp Panel -a dashing panel of camp Queens engaging in tantalising debate and discussions.

Photo by Tristan Fewings/Getty Images for World Of Wonder Productions

Craig MacNeil (Whimsically Volatile) sat down with Sophie Anderson (The Cock Destroyers) and Cheryl Hole from RuPaul’s Drag Race UK to discuss self-acceptance, self-love, and handling the challenges they encounter on their journey in Be Yourself. Bet on Yourself. Love Yourself.

WOW Presents Plus panels included a Morning T&T panel, where RuPaul’s DragRace UK winner The Vivienne and runner-up Baga Chipz hosted their hilarious morning talk show and announced they will be working with World of Wonder to create an album called T&T Music Factory where they cover songs as Donald Trump and Margaret. We can see these being number 1’s in no time…

As I was getting ready to leave after a long day of Dragtastic shenanigans, I finally spotted my favourite queen who was a true vision in white – Miz Cracker who had come to the press room for some rest and relaxation after teaching visitors about drag, life and drag life in her Jewtorials panel.

I left smug and happy after I had nabbed an obligatory backstage photo, leaving the rest of my DragCon buddies to continue frolicking about the various stalls and attractions – I believe one of them returned the next day to repeat the whole inimitable experience all over again.

 

 

Mitra Wicks

Editor in Chief