Photo by Mettie Ostrowski, featuring Janelle No. 5, Essa Noche, Baby Love, Horrorchata, Tuna Melt, MissMa’amshe, Julie J, Tiresias, Essence, Maxx Love, Beaujangless

The world’s largest drag & queer music festival returns for its 12th year September 9th and 10th at Knockdown Center

The 2023 initial lineup for Bushwig Festival is here! The world’s largest drag & music festival returns for its 12th year at The Knockdown Center (52-19 Flushing Ave, Queens, NYC) on September 9th & 10th, expanding with a third stage for up and coming drag artists. Get ready for two days of non-stop drag, music, and dancing with nearly 200 performers–the festival’s biggest lineup yet. Tickets are available now at

Bushwig is needed now more than ever, following a year of continuous political attacks on drag artists and trans folks across the U.S. 

Bushwig co-founder Horrorchata says, “This year has been extra challenging and more emotional than usual due to the current political climate and culture war. Over Pride Month, we saw the strength of our big beautiful LGBTQIA+ community which signaled that we cannot be silenced. Love will always win. In response to the culture war, we are upping security budgets. All our security are fully trained & we have strict briefs every morning of the festival with the team to ensure everyone’s safety. Bushwig has always been a space of pure freedom and self-expression and we will continue to be in the face of all forms of hate.” 

This is a particularly devastating year for the Bushwig family, following the sudden and shocking passing of Bushwig co-founder and community organizer Simone Moss aka Babes Trust, earlier this month. 

Horrorchata says, “We are deeply saddened about the sudden unexpected passing of our co-founder, Simone Babes Trust. This year, Bushwig will honor and celebrate her memory. Babes was an icon who inspired countless performers and friends to be bold, fearless, and innovative, and our whole Bushwig family and our lineup will be imbued with her spirit in 2023.”

As the original “Brooklyn Festival of Drag, Music Love, and Unity,” Bushwig has become a global phenomenon, attracting fans and performers from all over the world, with pop-up events in Berlin, Lisbon, Austin’s SXSW, and more. 

Bushwig is an inclusive event and takes great pride in being a celebration of anyone for everyone, organized by a team of Trans, Black, and Latinx queer people since 2012. The festival functions first and foremost as a community event, giving local and international artists a part of the stage and an opportunity to connect with queer audiences who love and support the historical art form of drag. From legendary queer icons to rising acts of today, Bushwig continues to expand its platform, and deliver avant-garde setlists of extraordinary queer entertainment. Bushwig has received praise and features in The New York TimesVarietyThe Guardian, and more for their radical approach to what drag is—and could be.