Drag Fest Ireland a resounding success despite anti-LGBTQ+ protest

Many performers responded to the attempted intimidation, with Drag Race alum Ra'Jah O'Hara saying: "We’re here, we’re not going anywhere."

Three images of performances from Drag Fest Ireland.
Image: Stefano Pappalardo

On Saturday, May 27, Drag Fest Ireland took over the National Stadium on Dublin’s South Circular Road for a jaw-dropping showcase for the gods. Featuring both local and international stars, attendees enjoyed a night of music, dance, drama, comedy and more.

The line-up boasted fabulous acts from the original US version of Ru Paul’s Drag Race, including Jan, Ra’Jah O’Hara, Jasmise Kennedie and Trinity K Bonet from seasons 12, 11, 14 and 6, respectively. Meanwhile, Cheddar Gorgeous, Baga Chipz, Choriza May and Gothy Kendoll were on hand to represent the UK edition of the beloved show.

A fierce selection of homegrown talent also sashayed their way to the stage, with performers from Haus of W.I.G delighting audiences, alongside names like Ariana Grindr, Donna Fella, Mizza, Naomi Diamond, Phil T Gorgeous, Vicky Voltz, Viola Gayvis, and more.


While the show itself was a hit, upon arrival at the venue, ticketholders were subjected to vile verbal abuse from a small group of protestors. Gathered outside the venue, the handful of agitators spewed slurs like “groomer” and “paedophile” at attendees, reportedly causing upset for many. While Gardaí were on the scene, no action was taken. GCN has contacted the Garda press office about the situation but has yet to receive a response.

During their performances, a number of acts commented on the demonstration, with Ra’Jah saying: “When I pulled up, I saw a few protestors outside, but you know what that means to me? We’re doing what we need to be doing.”

She added: “We’re here; we’re not going anywhere. We support, we love each other and baby, that’s worldwide, and that comes from a queen herself!”



Similarly, Motha Tucka passionately declared: “Drag is not a crime.”

They continued: “For governments around the world to be trying to stop the existence of trans people and queer people in this world is f*cking disgusting and it is f*cking abhorrent.”

Motha Tucka then called on allies of the LGBTQ+ community to join the fight against oppression and stand up in solidarity with queer folk.


This was just the second year of Drag Fest Ireland, but the number of those in support of the event hugely outweighed the small group protesting, sending a defiant message that the queer community will not be intimidated into silence.

© 2023 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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