A massive Drag-a-Thon held in Portland, US, successfully set a new Guinness World Record for ‘World’s Longest Drag Show’ with a spectacular event that lasted over 48 hours.
The show was hosted at Portland’s famed queer nightclub Darcelle XV from July 11 to the 13 and starred a variety of talents, with over 120 drag kings, queens and emcees entertaining a crowd of more than 2,600 fierce supporters. Notable drag stars such as Eureka O’ Hara, Peppermint and Lala Ri graced the stage that witnessed beyond 600 songs and 700 set changes in the span of the two days of the Drag-a-Thon.
“I swear the only city that could have pulled this off is Portland,” commented Emma McIlroy, Drag-a-Thon producer and Wildfang CEO, speaking to NBC News, “The only place that people are going to come out at 3 a.m. and 4 a.m. to watch a drag show is Portland.”
Along with creating a stellar atmosphere, unforgettable moments and a beautiful show, all of the proceeds from tickets and donations from the crowd have been collected for the Trevor Project, an American charity that aims to help LGBTQ+ youth in crisis. After the event ended, Wildfang, the organisers of the show, proudly announced that they raised over $285,000 for the LGBTQ+ charity.
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The crowd watched the Drag-a-Thon break the Guinness World Record live as the drag performers lipsynced next to a large digital clock counting every second of the event. The continuous performance ended after 48 hours, 11 minutes, and 30 seconds and was officially certified as a Guinness World Record by an announcer at the end of the night, celebrating with a torrent of confetti that rained across the crowd and stage. The Portland Drag-a-Thon surpassed the previous record set 6 years ago in Melbourne, Australia, which was 36 hours, 36 minutes, and 40 seconds.
After the record was officially announced the crowd and performers received a surprise congratulations from the queen of drag herself, RuPaul. According to KATU, RuPaul excitedly announced in the celebratory video, “My goodness. This is spreading the love and the joy of drag throughout the world. Big kiss from Mama Ru.”
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Although the Drag-a-Thon was a night of fun, joy and queer celebration, many people highlighted that the two-night event was a representation of support towards drag artists at a time when drag shows across the US have been restricted. “Amidst the record-high number of anti-LGBTQ+ legislations across the country, we are so grateful to witness an incredible showing of community and generous support from Wildfang and Darcelle XV,” commented the Trevor Project in their Instagram post.
Wildfang has said this record-breaking event would “fight their hate with joy” and it looks like they were incredibly successful. The Trevor Project concluded in their Instagram statement, “Drag has been — and will always be — about community. Let’s keep writing a more inclusive, accepting, and loving chapter of history, together.”
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