What to know about Bushwig, a gathering of nearly 200 drag stars

Bushwig brings together hundreds of drag stars, DJs and artists.  Photo Credit: Mark Hagopian

Last year’s event tallied 4,000 guests, but co-founder Babes Trust says Bushwig is “still a secret in many ways.”

Bushwig brings together hundreds of drag stars, DJs and artists. 
Bushwig brings together hundreds of drag stars, DJs and artists.  Photo Credit: Getty Images/Tim Warner

Bushwig, a two-day party branded as the “Coachella of drag,” returns to New York City this weekend with a lineup of more than 200 performers.

Following a sold-out run last year, Bushwig celebrates its eighth annual event at the Knockdown Center in Maspeth.

Despite having thousands of drag fans in attendance (last year’s event tallied 4,000 ticketed guests, according to organizers), co-founder Babes Trust says Bushwig is “still a secret in many ways.”

Brooklyn artists Trust and Horrorchata founded their drag festival in 2012 as a smaller scale Wigstock celebrating local talent. Since its debut, the festival has expanded internationally, becoming an annual staple for the drag community.

Bushwig returns to NYC for its eighth festival this weekend.
Bushwig returns to NYC for its eighth festival this weekend. Photo Credit: Mark Hagopian

“The NYC festival continues to grow in audience size, and now we also have a successful Bushwig festival in Berlin,” a statement from Trust says. “I think last year both myself and Horrorchata realized that Bushwig has grown into something bigger than us [and into] its own entity that our family of attendees have organically created along the way.”

The festival features daylong drag performances and DJ sets. It’s been known to highlight rising city queens (Charlene and Harajuku, of Brooklyn) and “RuPaul’s Drag Race” alumni (Nina West and Scarlet Envy, of season 11), but also includes queens from around the world.

If you’re looking to bling out your weekend at Bushwig, here’s what you’ll want to know:

When and where is Bushwig?

The eighth annual Bushwig event takes over the Knockdown Center, at 52-19 Flushing Ave., in Maspeth, Saturday (1 p.m. to 3 a.m.) and Sunday (1 p.m. to midnight).

Bushwig was co-founded by Brooklyn artists Horrorchata and Babes Trust. Above, drag queens pose on the subway. 
Bushwig was co-founded by Brooklyn artists Horrorchata and Babes Trust. Above, drag queens pose on the subway.  Photo Credit: Mark Hagopian

Who’s on the drag lineup?

We could list the fest’s 210 performers, but could you really see them all? If you’re a dedicated fan spending the entire weekend at the fest, the answer is yes. If not, consider planning your afternoon around the big names.

Saturday’s set includes former "Drag Race" contestants Nina West, Thorgy Thor and Soji. Sunday brings out New York queens Lady Bunny, Scarlet Envy and Lucy Balls. You can view the full lineup at bushwig.com/lineup.

Are tickets still available?

Saturday tickets start at $45, while Sunday tickets will cost you $40-$45. VIP tickets for the full weekend are $80 each. You can purchase tickets at eventbrite.com/bushwig.

How do I get there?

Your Bushwig ticket includes access to a free shuttle bus from the Jefferson L Train station (at Jefferson Street and Wyckoff Avenue). You can also use code “WIGRIDE19” for 20 percent off your Lyft.

Meghan Giannotta