The world of drag queens is about to have its first Italian national festival, Drag & Friends, which will take place in Bologna (Italy) on March 25 and 26: one hundred drag queens from all over Italy will gather for a two-day event of shows and fun. The patroness of the event is the winner of Drag Race Netherlands, Vanessa Van Cartier, who will also be a judge on the italian program “I’m Not a Lady.”
Drag & Friends was inspired by RuPaul’s famous American drag race and London drag festivals. An event that will offer participants the opportunity to meet their favorite drag queens, especially the performers who came out of the Italian reality show “Drag Race Italia.” In addition to this opportunity, also that of participating in a large number of debates, talk shows, DJ sets and competitions during the course of the two days.
The venue for the event, organized by the QUEEN aps association, is the Ex Bocciofila Pontelungo in Via Agucchi 121/14, transformed into a location dedicated to shows and events, as part of a larger project aimed at the recovery, regeneration and redevelopment of the former Bocciofila located within the Farpi Vignoli garden park in Bologna.
Drag Fest 2023 in Italy: the Drag & Friends program
Saturday, March 25
On the first day, the opening is at 3:30 p.m. and the opening with Vanessa Van Cartier, La Petite Noire and Aura eternal is at 4:30 p.m. There will also be a presentation and fashion show of all the featured artists at 5:00 p.m. (registration required)
Afterwards, there will be performances by Aura Eternal, La Petite Noire and Vanessa Van Cartier.
At 6 p.m. there will be the “Casting Queen of the Seas – Drag Contest” – and only the 15 entries will have a chance to participate (registration has already closed as of March 5). The winner will get a 7-night/8-day gay cruise on the Costa Smeralda and will enter the final organized on the ship by TRAVEL GAY.
At 8 p.m. there will be “Azz! Che TALK!”, an irreverent interview by Matteo Divine Miglio with some of the artists of the event.
At 9 p.m. there will be the “Let’s Get Together Section – Ballroom Session” curated by Leria Dita of Iconic House of Ninja, with a voguing challenge among the participants.
From 11 p.m. there will be the “Mamamia in Tour – DjSet” with Riccardo Remedi and entertainment with Paul Lestat, David, Suna and Jack.
Sunday, March 26
On the second day, the opening is at 3 p.m. and there will be a presentation and parade of all the performers present at 4 p.m.
At 4:30 p.m. there will be the Beauty Queen Italia 2023, the eighth edition of the national contest for the most beautiful drag queen in Italy, with 26 participants from all regions of Italy. The jury of experts and a panel of godmothers will choose the Beauty Star of 2023 based on this year’s theme, “The Time Machine.”
From 7:30 p.m. there will be AperiRED and the “STILOSE Party” with a djSet by MattyP from Bologna’s famous RED CLUB with gogo boys.
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