Drag ON! Snags World Record for Biggest Drag Show
It was a busy day in Dundas Square in Toronto as hundreds of drag fans and members and allies of the LGBTQ community came out to celebrate Drag ON! on Saturday July 3. As a way to wrap up the month’s Pride festivities the day before the big parade, the drag community — both local and abroad — got together to put on the largest drag performance in history. The show successfully achieved the title in the Guinness Book of World Records. From 2 until 11 pm, drag performers from all walks, including alumni from the hit reality show RuPaul’s Drag Race came to dance, lipsync, and otherwise dazzle their way into the hearts of the crowd who danced the day away.
This free all-day performance took place in the heart of downtown Toronto, meaning people could leisurely come and go as they pleased. In the early afternoon, the line to get in wove around the block as bags and IDs were checked before wristbands (for easy re-access) were handed out. The whole process was quick and efficient and audiences were on the other side of the barricade in no time.
Needless to say, Dundas Square was packed to the point where the best way to see the action on stage was via the projection on the screen near the far end of the square. There was no “best time” to attend the show. The organizers did a great job in scheduling to make sure star powered appearances happened throughout the day.
At 3:30, we managed to catch Gia Gunn — who has certainly upped her dance training from anything she did during Season 7 of Drag Race — and Alyssa Edwards (who Gia got her dance training from). Alyssa tore up the stage in a very energetic and athletic number that the crowd simply ate up.
Afterwards, we were delighted to catch Titus Androgynous’ sailor number. We interviewed Titus in our previous post on Drag Fashion. Titus is an all around performer. In his number when he sang of his woes traveling through Amsterdam with a bottle of liquor in hand, we couldn’t help but feel his woes with him. It was a wonderful performance to behold.
Later in the evening, two more stars from Drag Race took the stage. Season 7 winner Bianca Del Rio stepped in as MC to do what she does best — read everyone to filth! The insult queen spared no one, from queens that she has worked with whom she admired and respected, to the tech people, and even members of the audience, there were a few choice words to be thrown. The term “Bitch!” made it in there frequently. It was definitely crass but this is what you expect from Bianca.
On the other side of that, Ben DeLaCreme was the polar opposite of Bianca. DeLa (as she is known) won Miss Congeniality during Season 7. Her awkwardly cute performance was a comedy of errors as she danced and lipsynced her way through a vocal track chock full of humourous technical errors before handing the stage back to Bianca. It was incredibly cute.
Following that was another Drag Race favourite, ChiChi DeVayne who made it into the Top 4 of the most recent season. ChiChi is a Louisiana lady full of southern charm and sass. She performed a show girl number and did her best to channel the likes of Diana Ross throughout her highly acrobatic piece. She did a fine job.
Last year’s Drag ON! was in the parking lot across from Wellesley station and it rained all day. This year, the sun was out in full force, and the festivities took over the largest public open air performance space in the city. With all the great performances from talents who really took the care to polish their craft, to the star power, and the joy and love in the crowd, you were hell bent not to have a great time.
Photos by Samantha Wu