The fifth annual Bushwig festival lit up the Knockdown Center in Queens this weekend, drawing thousands of elaborately glammed-up revelers to cheer on over 150 saucy drag performances. This was the first time Bushwig was held outside of Brooklyn, and the bigger space gave everyone more room to throw down, both in and out of the venue, which was very steamy on Saturday.
Latrice Royale (from RuPaul's drag race) was Saturday's headliner and performed two sets, which got the most enthusiastic response from the crowd. Her last set climaxed with a blistering diatribe against Donald Trump, with Latrice declaring, "I ain't going back to 1814 bitch. Not going back to the shackles. Not going to a plantation unless it's my own plantation, my own empire." On Sunday, legendary Wigstock founder Lady Bunny headlined, performing to old-timey music peppered with lots of jokey one-liners (the material was for an upcoming show at the Stonewall Inn).
Both days were charged with an exuberant collective energy and overall attitude that Bushwig is, to quote performer Will Sheridan, a "space where you can be who the fuck you are." Or as another performer put it: "Celebrate who you are doing your thing."