Edgeville Buzz

Chicago’s First Ever Drag Festival Is Coming To Andersonville

What is being billed as Chicago’s first drag festival will be coming to Andersonville on Pride Weekend with a line-up of Queer culture headliners and talent.

The Chicago Is A Drag Festival (CIADF) will be taking place on Friday, June 28th from 4 p.m – 11 p.m. in the Cheetah Gym Parking Lot in Andersonville (5238 N Clark St). It will be held in conjunction with the annual Back Lot Bash on Pride Weekend.

Organized by A Queer Pride, the event will be the first ever street festival that showcases Chicago’s drag culture and will represent a diverse selection of talent which includes different races, genders and sexualities. The festival will also commemorate significant LGBTQ milestones this year including 50 years of Chicago Pride, the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, and 50 years of Chicago’s legendary Baton Lounge.

“We started last year on building the proper team, promotion and trying to find the perfect venue that would allow us to reach as many queer people possible,” said one of the founders of the event Scott Cramer. “We hope to bring the art of drag to a wider audience in Chicago, and beyond. For folks unfamiliar with the city’s drag scene, this showcase would be a review of talent, through wacky and over the top characterization from some of Chicago’s top queer artists. We also hope to bring the LGBTQ community together, and give them a new space to express themselves and receive inspiration from within the community.”

Headliners for the festival include RuPaul’s Drag Race season 3 winner and avant garde drag artist Raja, trans actress/activist and past winner of the Miss Continental drag pageant Candis Cayne, and the entertainer Spikey Van Dykey who has helped reshape modern drag king culture. Hosting the event will be reality TV superstar Tiffany Pollard and YouTube sensation TS Madison.

“Our lineup of Chicago performers is truly focused on uplifting artists who are larger than life with their drag and bring a unique ‘Chicago’ twist to what they do,” Cramer added.  “In addition to representing more recognized forms of drag styles, the festival will also feature drag acts that incorporate live music, bands, back up dancers, and even skilled sideshow acts such as flames and sparks.”

There will also be an assortment of activities in between performances at the event. A “drag alley” that will feature a number of different local vendors and artists who are instrumental to the art of drag in Chicago will sell an array of nails, summer fashion and drag merchandise. A unique Arda Wigs, Dispensary 33 & Glitter Guts photo booth will be available and CIADF will also feature a Grassroots Game Lounge with a variety of vintage arcade games and life size board games. DJ sets will also take place from artists such as Dapper (smallWorld Collective), Draco (Teen Witch Fan Club), Lamia (Swoon), Vitigrrl (Peach) and [X]P (Duro).

VIP meet and greet and general admission tickets are on sale now at www.chicagoisadrag.com.

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