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Pushed Out of Bushwick, Drag Queens Head to...Maspeth?

By Gwynne Hogan | August 22, 2016 5:35pm
 Bushwig will be hosted in the Knockdown Center on Sept. 10 and 11. 
Bushwig will be hosted in the Knockdown Center on Sept. 10 and 11. 
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Courtesy of Bushwig

MASPETH — Gentrification and rising rents have pushed Bushwick's annual drag celebration into a more appropriate borough — Queens.

The fifth annual Bushwig, formerly the neighborhood's own drag festival, will move to Maspeth's repurposed glass factory the Knockdown Center at 52-19 Flushing Ave. on Sept. 10 and 11, according to its organizers.

Project Secret Robot, the venue that hosted Bushwig since 2012 when the festival began, shut down earlier this summer due to rising rents, though the owners promise to reopen in an unknown location "farther out into Brooklyn."

Co-founder of Bushwig, Queen Horrorchata, said they were excited to find a new home at the 50,000-square-foot Knockdown Center, despite the non-Bushwick address.

"The latest performers in New York are struggling as the city is getting gentrified faster than ever. But the creativity and the freaks aren’t going anywhere," she said. "We are dealing with the fact that this city is constantly evolving and what really matters is the art will always be here."

Bushwig will feature performances from more than 100 drag queens as well as DJs, musicians, food, acupuncture, vendors and a "sober sissys" area. The frenzy begins Saturday at 2 p.m. and continues all night and on Sunday.

Reality TV show RuPaul's Drag Race star Latrice Royale, blonde bombshell Lady Bunny and Thorgy Thor will take the stage while DJs and musicians like Gavin Russom, Occupy the Disco and Felix and the Future will bring the beats.

Since the Knockdown Center is a bit of a hike from the L train, the festival is offering free shuttle bus rides from the Jefferson L train stop. Early bird two day passes are $40. Later they'll cost $50. Day passes are $35.

Here's a glimpse of "Sisters of the Wicked Wig," a documentary about Bushwick's burgeoning drag scene, featuring many of Bushwig's stars.

Sisters of the Wicked Wig OFFICIAL TRAILER from Megamot Media on Vimeo.