For anyone invested in drag culture, the role of of Wigstock in the narrative of queer performance is legendary. The once annual New York City drag festival, organized by drag icon Lady Bunny and Scott Lifshutz, ran for over 20 years in the '80s, '90s and early 2000s, attracting over 30,000 drag enthusiasts at its height.
For those of you who either missed this seminal festival or are nostalgic for its long-running legacy, you're in luck. Lady Bunny and Lifshutz are bring together a group of iconic performers and DJs from the '90s downton NYC nightlife era to recreate Wigstock -- this time on a cruise ship.
Scheduled for Sunday, August 16, "Wigstock's Sea Tea Cruise" will bring together Sister Dimension, Linda Simpson, HRH Princess Diandra, Flotilla Debarge, Sweetie, Sugga Pie Koko, David Ilku, Ffloyd, DJ Johnny Dynell and DC's Ed Bailey.
"Someone recently sent me an photo spread from the UK’s Guardian featuring Michael James O’Brien’s shots from Wigstock during the 90s, calling it 'New York’s hair-raising 90s drag scene,' Lady Bunny said in a statement. "It made me nostalgic, just as people are nostalgic for clubs which don’t only play top 40 tunes and drag acts which focus more on talent than on contouring ability. Then I got wind of a new Wigstock party in South Africa in addition to other annual events in Tel Aviv, Sweden and Melbourne, Australia and had to ask myself 'Why should everyone else have all the fun?' and 'How much should I sue for?' Everyone is always telling me 'Bring back Wigstock!' so this Sea Tea cruise will test the waters, literally, and relive the party on a smaller scale. This may lead to other full-scale Wigstock festivals in the future."
"Wigstock's Sea Tea Cruise" will start to fill up at 6 p.m. on August 16, and then set sail at 7:30 at Pier 40 near Christopher Street. Head here for more information and check out photos from Wigstocks past below.