Drag Shows in Charlotte
Drag shows in the Queen City are a vibrant and growing part of the city’s LGBTQ+ community. There are several local venues that regularly host drag shows, featuring local drag queens, kings and visiting performers from around the country.
by Libby Goddard
Drag performances have become increasingly popular over the years, with numerous talented performers and vibrant drag scenes throughout the city. From weekly shows at local bars to larger performances at venues like Ovens Auditorium and Blumenthal Performing Arts Center, there's something for everyone who loves drag entertainment in Charlotte.
Buff Faye’s Drag Brunch & Diner is one of the most popular and well-known drag performances in the region. Voted No. 1 Drag Brunch by Charlotte Magazine and Elevate Magazine, this show is the oldest and longest-running drag performance in the Carolinas. Although the location changes, the queens always bring an entertaining and energetic combination of drag performances, bottomless mimosas and delicious food. Buff Faye, who is known for her hilarious comedy routines and fabulous costumes, serves as the emcee of the event and keeps the audience engaged with her witty banter and playful humor.
Neighborhood: South End
“So Sassy Sunday” is a weekly drag show that combines tasty food, mimosa towers and a spectacular drag show performed by the queens of Vanity House. The performers lip-sync, dance and dip to a variety of popular songs, engaging the audience and keeping the energy high. Enjoy a brunch menu featuring steak and egg quesadillas, breakfast sandwiches and specialty cocktails. So Sassy Sunday Drag Brunch at All American Pub is a must visit for anyone ages 21 and over looking for a fun, entertaining and delicious brunch experience.
Each month, Artisan’s Palate puts on a drag brunch where each performance acts as a fundraiser for local charities like Carolina Breast Friends, Charlotte Street Art Collaborative, Time Out Youth and STEAMrising. While the queens are queening, enjoy eclectic cocktails and brunch dishes like shrimp and grits, brioche French toast, and biscuits and gravy. Please note, although the monthly drag brunches are fundraisers for charities featuring fun and lighthearted performances, all attendees must be a minimum of 18 years old.
Bar Argon is one of the most popular and beloved LGBTQ+ bars in Charlotte and is well known for its weekly drag shows. The bar features a spacious and lively stage, where talented local drag performers showcase their skills and entertain the audience. You can expect to see local queens Erica Chanel and Riley Malicious, along with DJ Vanna Vanity on the decks. In addition to the drag shows, Bar Argon also hosts other LGBTQ+ events, including karaoke nights, trivia nights, themed dance parties and “RuPaul’s Drag Race” watch parties.
Neighborhood: Plaza Midwood
Chasers has been a staple of the Charlotte LGBTQ+ community for many years, offering a safe and welcoming space for people to express themselves and celebrate diversity. Chasers is home to several drag weekly shows but is known more for Illusions: The Drag Queen Show. Illusions is the perfect combination of burlesque and comedy performances by the industry’s best celebrity impersonators and the funniest drag queen hosts you’ll ever have the pleasure of encountering. The performers showcase a variety of talents, including lip-syncing, live singing, dancing and comedy skits, and they often interact with the audience to create a fun and engaging atmosphere.
Free Will Craft & Vine is a popular bar and restaurant in NoDa that hosts monthly “Drag Me to Brunch” shows featuring a rotating cast of local queens. The venue is an intimate space, which allows for an up-close and personal experience with the performers. Don’t forget to bring cash so you can tip the dolls! In addition to drag shows, Free Will Craft & Vine also offers a wide selection of craft beers and wines, as well as gourmet pizzas and wood-fired wings.
Neighborhood: South End
Hi-Wire Brewing is a popular craft brewery and taproom that hosts regular drag performances and entertainment, like the monthly Drag Game Night held every first Thursday of the month. The venue is an open and spacious space, which allows for a comfortable and amusing experience with the performers. The shows are typically free to attend, creating the perfect opportunity for guests to enjoy a fun night out without breaking the bank. In addition to the drag shows, Hi-Wire Brewing also boasts a wide selection of craft beers, including their popular Hi-Pitch Mosaic IPA, as well as a variety of food trucks that park outside the brewery.
Neighborhood: Wesley Heights
The Scorpio in Wesley Heights is a legendary nightclub that has been a staple of the LGBTQ+ community in the city for over 40 years. The spacious venue is equipped with a large stage and state-of-the-art lighting and sound systems that add to the overall experience. The shows are typically held on weekends, and there is often a cover charge, but the price is reasonable and well worth it for the entertainment value. Some of the most popular drag performers at The Scorpio include Misha Paris, Ivy Carter and Erica Chanel, as well as touring queens from the hit TV show, “RuPaul’s Drag Race.”
Neighborhood: Optimist Park
Starlight on 22nd is a casual and relaxing neighborhood bar in Optimist Park that is host to regular themed entertainment nights like open-mic night, karaoke, trivia and the Starlight Academy Drag show. Every other Wednesday, local queen, Onya Nerves, hosts a fun and entertaining showcase of lip-synching, live singing, dancing, dipping and comedy skits. Queens often interact with the audience, so don’t forget to bring your dollars to tip. Starlight on 22nd also offers a wide selection of creative cocktails and craft beers.