The Icelandic drag scene is set to be represented at RuPaul’s DragCon in Los Angeles in May, a 60 thousand person convention of all things drag-related.
Five members of the group Drag-Súgur will be in attendance, presenting a booth on the convention floor, close to superstar RuPaul’s own display. We talked to Icelandic drag pioneer Gógó Starr about the upcoming trip.
Why did you guys decide to participate in RuPaul’s DragCon this year?
“We’ve wanted to go to DragCon LA for a while now to showcase the Icelandic drag scene, but we could never make it work before. It’s also a long way to travel and a lot of things that need to be taken care of. Jenny Purr and I went to DragCon in New York in September last year and realized that Drag-Súgur simply had to enter as soon as possible. It’s such an amazing opportunity to meet incredible people and be inspired. We started planning and preparing to go to LA and have our own booth and immediately felt excitement and support from everyone.”
According to Gógó RuPaul’s DragCon is the largest drag convention in the world, held in Los Angeles and New York. It’s the fourth time it’s held in LA and 60 thousand people are expected to attend this year. “It’s an awesome mix of drag performers, queer influencers, star-eyed fans of all ages and of course the drag superstar RuPaul and talent from RuPaul’s Drag Race! Fans can meet and greet the stars, display and trade on the convention floor and drag performers and artists can meet up, connect and share glitter.”
“DragCon is of course a great venue to form connections with other artists and show producers. ”
Asked what the Icelandic team has planned for the convention, Gógó says that they intend mingle with the guests and introduce Iceland’s drag scene at their elegant booth, which as it happens is very close to RuPaul’s booth. “We’ll also make an effort to take in all the sights at the convention. In addition to promoting our country at our booth, we’re hosting a kind of raffle, where you can win Icelandic treats from Omnom chocolate and the main prize is a trip for two to Iceland with WOW Air and a specialized tour package from Pink Iceland. It will be great!”
Are you planning to do anything else on your travels?
“I will of course be performing, including the Queen Kong show on May 4th,” replies Gógó and adds that even though they will be spending a lot of time preparing for the convention, it’s important that they enjoy themselves while in sunny California. “We may hit the beach, go to a water park, visit a Hollywood studio and I guess we’ll have to visit Disneyland while we’re there.”
The five who are making the trip are Deff Starr, Jenny Purr and of course Gógó who says that they wanted to bring diverse performers and showcase the variance within the Icelandic drag scene. “So we have two associates, Atli Demantur and Bjarni Óskarsson. They’re the organizers, assistants, drivers, bodyguards and porters and are going to keep the trip humming, because you can’t trust drag queens to organize, we get too distracted when there’s glitter and cute guys,” says Gógó and laughs.
In order to finance the trip the group did a special fundraising show along with the amazing Crystal Lubrikunt, who hosted the night. “The show sold out and the fans were demanding we go to LA to show everybody how it’s done! But aside from the fundraising show, we asked for support from various parties and got a great reception from WOW Air, Pink Iceland, Landsbankinn, Nova, Hárvörur.is and Omnom chocolate. Without their generous support, this wouldn’t be possible!”
Do you guys intend to travel more as a group? “Without a doubt! It’s only a matter of time before we’ll be performing in the other corners of the world. We’re building the foundation for collaborative bookings, where we get drag performers to Iceland and in turn go perform in their countries. DragCon is of course a great venue to form connections with other artists and show producers.”
“It’s only a matter of time before we’ll be performing in the other corners of the world.”
Apart from the upcoming trip to LA Drag-Súgur does two shows at bar Gaukurinn every month, the Drag-Súgur show and Drag-Lab, where entry is free so that anybody can enjoy the drag scene. “We’ll have a fantastic show at Reykjavík Pride this year, which will showcase the best of our acts this year along with new stuff and maybe we’ll have some interesting guests from abroad,” says Gógó and adds that people shouldn’t despair even though a few of them are going to DragCon at the same time, because Drag-Súgur is packed with talented people who will be hosting a spectacular Eurovision show at Gaukurinn on May 11th.