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5 Australian Most Fabulous Drag Queens

5 Australian Most Fabulous Drag Queens

By Deni Kirkova|

With queens from Melbourne and beyond, we chat to some of Australia's most fabulous drag artists who you can see IRL this weekend at DragExpo, here at MCEC.

From drag bingo to stand-up and queens for hire at your bachelorette party, the drag scene in Melbourne is epic. It has been since the 90s, but since RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under premiered last year and now DragExpo coming to our beautiful city this August 5-7, the sparkle is really starting to shine – and we are so here for it.

The foremost celebration of everything drag, kitsch and pop culture, DragExpo debuts in Australia, and we are honoured to host it at MCEC. As our Chief Commercial Officer, Melissa Sweetland, says: “MCEC is so thrilled to welcome the first ever Australian DragExpo which promises to be a bright and animated weekend across the building."

DragExpo launches one week after Drag Race Down Under S2 premiered, so it couldn’t be timelier. With a superstar lineup of local and international drag artiste royalty and an expected crowd of 5,000, you won’t want to miss it.

Call us biased, but some of the most brilliant talent comes from our fabulously creative and diverse city. With queens from Melbourne and beyond, check out our fun lineup featuring 5 of Australia’s most fabulous drag queens – who you can see IRL at DragExpo:

Art Simone

Melbourne’s own Art Simone came runner-up on Drag Race Down Under S1. A dynamic live performer for over a decade, this queen is an Instagram powerhouse, media personality – and incredible makeup artist. The current Queen of Australia and Drag Performer of the Year winner, Art has worked with some major brands, featured on TV and starred in movies.

She is passionate about getting drag from the city to our regional towns and celebrating LGBTQIA+ pride where it’s needed most. Fresh off her Australian tour As Seen on TV with fellow drag artist Etcetera Etcetera, below, now is your chance to meet this reigning queen.

Art says: ‘DragExpo is the biggest celebration of drag in the southern hemisphere! Expect all the glitz and glam from world-class drag artists with a weekend of fun strutting down the famous pink carpet. I’ll be offering exclusive merch, photo opportunities and meet and greets with fans and lovers of all things DRAG. I’m so excited!’

Etcetera Etcetera

Otherwise known as The Glamour Bug, Etcetera Etcetera is one of Australia’s most well-known and visually striking drag artists. A star of RuPaul’s Drag Race S1 and a pro in performance, makeup artistry and fashion, Etcetera is now coming to DragExpo.

Etcetera, from Sydney, says: “I’m so excited to be connecting with my fans at DragExpo this weekend. Having just returned from Drag Con LA – I’m ready to do it all again. But this time, Down Under!”

A visible non-binary artist, Etcetera’s is a dazzling host and performer. They create memorable moments in theatre, clubs, TV, film and beyond, boasting a lively fanbase beyond the world of drag. And just as Etcetera’s name suggests, there is only more to come. Aubrey Haive

A native Kiwi living in Melbourne, Aubrey Haive is the new girl on the block. Set to participate in shows and panels at DragExpo, Aubrey has a stunning retro drag style and creative performance numbers you won't want to miss.

Star of the screen and beyond, this queen is currently showcasing her exceptional talents on RuPaul's Drag Race Down Under S2. She is a pro at singing and dancing thanks to her time at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts. Stunning and hilariously funny – ‘Ah, it’s good to be home-o!’ - Aubrey is certainly one to watch.

Originally from Timaru, New Zealand, Aubrey Haive says: “I am super excited for DragExpo and to meet my new followers after the recent premiere of Drag Race Down Under. Expect the set of Austin Powers at my booth and exclusive, time-travelling, first-of-its-kind merch!” Carla from Bankstown

Otherwise known as The Original Gronk, Carla from Bankstown is proving to be more than western Sydney’s It Girl – she is fast becoming one of Australia’s It Queens. The breakout star of Channel 9's Celebrity Apprentice 2022, Carla is now coming to DragExpo.

She says: “What to expect? I can't wait to meet everyone and have a full hot time but! Getting to see everyone celebrate their individuality is going to be amazing but! Get your tickets now, gronks!”

Maxi Shield

Sydney’s pocket rocket drag performer, Maxi is a queen of lip sync and high kicks. Who can forget her iconic rendition of Absolutely Everybody?

After slaying the first season of Drag Race Down Under in 5th place, winning Entertainer of the Year and performing with Madonna, Maxi is now coming to MCEC for this unmissable drag event.

DragExpo visitors can learn all about how drag has evolved in Australia and beyond, hear famous queens’ inspiring stories, and get a peek behind the glitz and glamour. From technical tucks to mental health, there’ll be no area left unplucked nor wig left unturned. Expect panels, tutorials, chill-out spaces, shopping stores, runways, Q&A sessions, meet and greets, a drag market and more. Most of all, visitors can uncover the power that comes from being your real self.

Stephen Craddock, Director of ITDEVENTS - Australia & New Zealand's leading LGBTQIA+ promoter - says: "We have been passionately involved with the drag scene for over 10 years and love the artistry, colour, positive message and fun that it brings to our country. This is our first-ever Drag Expo and it is already shaping up to be an epic, super flamboyant, jam-packed event. DragExpo will truly shine a light on our colourful world."