Image for Start Your Engines: Oz DragCon Is Coming

Start Your Engines: Oz DragConIs Coming

Gentlemen, start your engines, because Australia’s first ever full scale LGBTIQ+ and queer-friendly pop culture expo OZ Drag-Con is coming to Melbourne, and it’s going to get SICKENING!!!!

“I was sitting down with my business partner and we were talking about the fact that Australia had no LGBTIQ pop culture conventions,” Oz Drag-Con’s event director Pete Smith tells SameSame.

“It’s unfortunate that some events actively discourage members of the community from being themselves at a convention. With some of them going as far as trying to implement bans on people cross-dressing at a convention.”

“That kind of attitude is just not good enough, if you’re a fan of something you should be able to express that however you want.”

Celebrating diversity in all its forms this July, Oz Drag-Con will be an all ages event bringing local and international drag entertainers together thanks to Australian Fandom Conventions who also run ThronesCon for Game of Thrones fans and “ConFugence”: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/confurgence-heroes-of-furtropolis-registration-30992224578, a con for the furry community.

“After ten years running a furry convention, its not a huge leap to go from furry to drag,” Smith laughs. “The furry and drag communities have one very strong thing in common, they are about celebrating your own personally created characters. Unlike anime of cosplayers who are fans of movies and TV, furry’s and drag performers create, develop and own their character when it comes to life.”

If you’ve been to a pop culture convention, things at Oz Drag-Con may seem a little similar but, just like the art form of drag, the team behind the event are working hard to create something that goes beyond expectations.

“Conventions put a whole lot of focus on panels and competitions and events for people to attend and we are going to have all of that. We’ve already lined up the beautiful Art Simone and Philmah Bocks doing a make-up panel, helping you learn how to beat your mug, and one of the competitions I’m most excited for is the Reading Challenge, where you get up on stage and read a bitch, with the winner being read by one of the queens from RuPauls Drag Race.”

When Oz Drag-Con was announced at the Dragnation final during Midsumma, season four Drag Race celeb Latrice Royale was announced as the first headline queen. However, in the lead up to tickets going on sale the guest list has gotten even bigger, including local legends and international drag artistes such as Shangela, Laganja Estranja, Donna DuTchme, Aysha Buffet, *Alyssa Edwards* and Charlie Hides!

You can also catch the RuPaul Queens at the Oz Drag-Con’s official launch party on the Friday night, click here for details.

“They love coming to Australia because Australian fans are so passionate and ready to get out there and show their support. Both Charlie and Latrice will be bringing their husbands with them which ties into the Cons theme of Hope and Love.”

“No single person, no group of people, no government, no agenda has the right to tell me or anyone else who you should or shouldn’t love and that’s the message we want to send.”

“Obviously, I’m a huge fan of RuPauls Drag Race and have been a huge fan of the icon that is RuPaul, someone who has completely challenged how people see the gay community, the drag community and the LGBT community in general.”

“Pop culture is influenced at its grass roots by queer culture, Oz Drag-Con is our very own pop culture convention and we are not just looking at bringing drag talent to the con, but LGBT pop culture icons as well.”

These icons include James Reece and Anthony Grillo from Muscle Geek Physique whose vid of their Power Ranger proposal last year got worldwide attention.

With a series of events each day it’s not just about the international acts with local drag performers getting the chance to get up onstage and do their thing.

“One of the biggest reasons I’m doing this is to help raise the profile of Australian queens. We have such amazing talent here and I want the international talent to be able to experience that as well.”

Oz Drag-Con takes place the 15th & 16th of July at the Melbourne Showgrounds, click here for more details and to book your tickets.

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