The world of drag has many similarities to music, with many different subgenres and specialised venues, making it one of the most colourful Melbourne events that light up our nightlife, and make the city one of the world’s cultural destinations.
Over the last few years, thanks to shows like RuPaul’s Drag Race, and various festivals celebrating the artform, drag has continuously grown in size and scale, and each year sees new performers make their way into the industry. This means Melbourne is increasingly jam-packed with venues celebrating the drag world, but undoubtedly one of the coolest comes in the form of Pride of our Footscray, a bar ready for everyone to enjoy.
Pride of our Footscray brings its performers to the front and centre, as one of the only venues in Melbourne to put on a regular ensemble performance called 4PLAY, filled with performers of all shapes and sizes, delivering fun, fashion, and feel-good energy in equal measure.
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Their regular rotation of performers features Max Drag Queen, who brings a new flavour to the bar, regularly performing at events that dazzle and delight fans of all types. Max is rather unique in that their love for drag performance came later in life, when a very cool and progressive musical hit Melbourne stages.
“My journey began back in 2016,” Max says. “It was the first time I saw drag, when Kinky Boots came to Melbourne. That definitely inspired me.
“4PLAY is a quintessential drag show. It’s a few friends that love being silly, sexy and stupid with some choreography and great banter.
“I’ve been performing with Pride for 4 years now, since the very beginning of my drag career. I love performing, I think it brings a joy and sparkle to the scene, it’s something light-hearted for the viewing pleasure.”
Pride of our Footscray offers a plethora of opportunities for new performers in the field, with the friendly team ensuring everyone has a chance to shine. Max has simple advice for anyone wanting to start a career in the field and perform at the venue.
“Show up,” they say. “Come to the shows, talk to other drag artists, ask for tips, apply the feedback where you can and have fun.
For those in the know, Pride’s roster here reads like a who’s who of performers in Melbourne drag, you’re bound to catch some of your favourites, and some new and up and comers. Max notes that this is what sets Pride apart from the city’s other venues, along with the array of patrons that head through the doors.
“Pride of our Footscray is so supportive of all types of drag and encourages diversity,” Max praises. “They have been big believers of booking different and unique performers.
“The age diversity is great too; I love being able to perform any song from any decade and have it be received well. Pride of our Footscray is a very important venue for the scene here in Melbourne.
“It’s a safe queer space out in the western suburbs of Melbourne that supports and exposes all types of drag to the locals of the area.”
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With pioneering venues like Pride of our Footscray, festivals like Gaytimes, and an increasing array of shows across TV and YouTube, there’s no question that the contemporary culture is has progressed markedly in only the last few years.
Max says there’s still a fair way to come and a lot of motivation to continue the charge: “Drag is definitely in the mainstream, but as for acceptance I still think there is work to be done. We will continue to be queer, loud and proud.”
Support the amazing work the drag stars at Pride of Our Footscray do by checking out what’s happening at the venue here.