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Event: Palmy Drag Festival – Oct 2023

Get ready to unleash your inner diva as Palmy Drag Fest 2023, the nation’s inaugural drag festival descends once again upon Palmerston North. From October 5th – 7th the city will be immersed in a three-day extravaganza of glitter, glamour and unforgettable performances. 

What started as a small show at the 200 seater Globe Theatre in Palmerston North back in 2021 has now blossomed into Aotearoa;s grandest celebration of Drag. Last year’s sold-out event at the iconic Regent on Broadway, Manawatu’s biggest theatre drew over 1300 enthusiastic attendees, setting the stage for this ground breaking festival.

Palmy Drag Fest 2023 promises to be an extraordinary spectacle, featuring over 17 sensational performers from across New Zealand and Australia. Drag fans from all corners of the motu will flock to witness this dazzling display of talent and join the vibrant celebration.

This year’s festival, spanning October 5th to the 7th, boasts an eclectic lineup of events designed to captivate audiences of all ages and backgrounds. Starting with Drag Storytime, an enchanting experience that merges entertainment with education, inspiring and delighting audiences of all ages. Additionally, the Rainbow Fair on the Saturday will take showcase a vibrant arrat of LGBTIQ+ businesses and organizations. This groundbreaking fair, the first of its kind in Palmy, embodies inclusivity and fosters a sense of community spirit. 

The crown jewel of the big weekend is undoubtedly the highly anticipated Big Drag Show on the Saturday night. Prepare to be mesmerized by drag icons such as Spankie Jackzon, performing her big homecoming show, Kita mean, another winner of Rupaul’s Drag Race Down Under, alongside Australian legends like Art Simone and Vanity. Hosted by Rhubarb Rouge there will be different types of drag ready to entertain all sorts. 

But that is not all! Palmy Drag Fest is thrilled to announce Palmy Drag School, a series of community workshops that will take place over three weekends in July, August and September leading up to the festival. Participants will have the opportunity to learn the art of drag from some of the best industry professionals including Drag 101 with Hugo Grrrl, Drag make up with Ivanna Drink and the art of drag performance with lipsynch assassin of Rupaul’s Drag Race Elektra Shock. Priced affordably at $40 per session or $120 for all three.  These workshops provide an inclusive and accessible platform for the community to immerse themselves in the captivating world of drag.

“We are thrilled to present the first ever festival dedicated to drag in New Zealand” said Ricky Beirao, Producer and Artistic Director of Palmy Drag Fest. “This This groundbreaking event embodies the spirit of inclusivity, self-expression, and celebration of diversity. Everything that we believe Aotearoa represents. We invite everyone to join us in the warm and inviting Palmy for an unforgettable experience that will leave you breathless, excited, and inspired.”

Palmy Drag Fest 2023 is set to be an explosive celebration of drag culture and the LGBTIQ+ community in Manawatu and New Zealand. Mark your calendars and prepare to express yourself at Palmy Drag Fest this October.


5th – 7th October 2023

Click here for details 


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