We are really lucky in the U.K that we have so much diversity. In most of the major cities, there are usually drag shows and it’s great to celebrate and support the U.K drag scene. It’s also fortunate that we are getting a lot of the RuPaul’s Drag Race stars coming over here thanks to the likes of Klub Kids, Holy T, Eat Sleep Drag Repeat, Slay and Kitty Tray.
But what if you’ve never been to a drag show before? What can you expect? What is the etiquette?
Well here are some helpful tips to help you survive your first drag show.
*Don’t be afraid to go alone
When I tell people I go to drag shows on my own, they are always shocked. For me, it’s either go alone or don’t go at all as a lot of my friends don’t have the same interest in drag that I do.
I know that when I go to a show, there are always like minded people who are happy to talk. I’ve made friends with some amazing people by going to shows on my own, and even met people that I’ve spoken to on social media but never spoke to in person.
Never worry that you will be alone all night. You will always be adopted by someone and if you see someone else on their own, say hello!
As the Dragadventures ladies will tell you, I’m always the dad of our little group. I’ve always got my purple folder with all my tickets, information and itinerary. Make sure you have all your information close at hand either printed out or on your phone. It will save time later on.
*Be a good person
This is probably the most important rule of all, not just at drag shows but in life in general. There are too many people out there who are horrible or think they’re better than everyone else and have bad attitudes. Don’t be that person.
It’s so much easier to just be a nice person and kindness costs nothing. Offer to take people’s photos near you in the queue at meet and greets.
Lend someone a sharpie but make sure they give it back. I’ve lost many a sharpie this way although sometimes one of the queens takes it by mistake and I’m ok with that!
I’ve even been known to stick fallen gems on people’s faces when they’ve fell off or told people about lipstick on their teeth. Little things like this go a long way.
As someone tall (6ft2), at stand up gigs, if there is someone really short behind me, I will let them stand in front of me. It’s not fair that they will struggle to see because they have a giant standing in front of them.
*If you want a good spot, get there early
There really is nothing worse than when you’ve queued up for a while to then have someone try to barge in front of you. If you have been waiting, you should get a good spot. You will always get someone who will try to barge past so beware but stand your ground and make friends with the people next to you as then you can all work together to protect your spot.
*You don’t have to give queens gifts
If someone is seeing their favourite queen, sometimes they buy them gifts and some might even spend a fortune on these gifts. It’s up to you if you want to buy them a gift. They would always appreciate it and I’m sure you’ll get an extra hug for it.
Sometimes just talking to them or maybe writing them a letter is just as nice. To know how appreciated they are and how much you like them is the best gift you can give someone. By buying a ticket to their show, you’ve already showed that.
When you’re at a show, be nice and respect the queens and the other people around you. Don’t be that drunk annoying person shouting out silly things. You will be shot down by the quick witted queens themselves. Don’t grab at them and don’t push and shove!
*Be nice or be quiet
A lot of people go all out in what they wear and also their makeup. It might even be their first time experimenting with drag. It may not be your taste or may not look polished but that’s no reason to be horrible and make fun.
Drag shows are safe places to experiment and be the true you that you may have to hide or not have the confidence to let out. If someone looks good, tell them. It might just be the boost in confidence they need. If you like what someone wears, tell them. Be a cheerleader.
A little thing I’ve noticed which always surprises me if that about 80% of the audience are female! This is obviously a benefit to me as I don’t have to queue for the toilet!
*Open your mind
Drag shows are lots of fun. No two are alike. You can always expect the unexpected. There is usually a lip sync competition so if you’re feeling brave, why not give it a go. I haven’t found the courage to do it yet but watch this space.
*Support the uk talent!
There are so many talented U.K queens out there and a lot of these shows have them supporting so show them some love. I personally have seen some incredible performances from the U.K continent and will always cheer them on and try to talk to them after! It costs nothing but it’s good to be kind!
And finally ENJOY YOURSELF!!!!
Drag shows are so much fun. It truly is a fantastic experience regardless of whether you go with friends or if you go alone. You will have the best time. So just have fun, be you and prepare to get sucked into one of the best experiences!
Dragadventures always promote the shows on their social media so if you see anything you like, book tickets. Support the queens so that we keep getting them doing shows here. And if you see any of us about, say hello! We won’t bite and we love talking to you all!
Written by Contributor Nathan Warren