Johannesburg

Where to see drag shows in Joburg

19 Apr 2023
The longest lashes, highest heels and most extravagant outfits are just a few of the things you can expect at a drag show. Performers go all out as they dress up in exaggerated expressions of gender. A drag queen is someone performing femininity, and a drag king performs masculinity. Their carefully choreographed shows are always a spectacle and make for a great night out.

Drag performances in Joburg have popped up in some unexpected and unusual places, including the Rand Club, with popular performers including ADAM (our My Joburg interview with them here) and Betty Bangles

Saucy talk, cheeky wordplay and plenty of eye shadow are all part of a fun night out or a drag brunch. Add a cocktail, some shoulder pads and spangles, and any time is a good time for a show. For the performers, it's an occasion, so dress up and show up at these spots to catch the action.

Babylon

You've probably driven past Illovo Muse on Oxford Road countless times, without realising that this unassuming strip is home to The Hanging Gardens of Babylon – a nightspot that is the heart of Joburg’s suburban gay nightlife scene. Babylon is one of the longest-running gay clubs in Joburg and is a fun, over-the-top and gaudy amusement space with neon lights, plenty of shooters and, of course, as the name suggests, hanging greenery. 
Centre stage at Babylon

Beefcakes

The Beefcakes stage sees action every night with fun drag shows and camp cabaret starting at 20.30. It's wise to book a table in advance. Weekends are very full!

A Streetbar Named Desire

Drag brunches at A Streetbar Named Desire are fabulous. Sip on mimosas, enjoy a delicious brunch spread and watch as drag artists bring their A-game to the stage. 

The Greenhouse

Many a drag brunch has been hosted in this leafy venue in the heart of Sandton. Make it a date!

The Greenhouse in Sandton

Vogue Nights Jozi - VNJ Ball

These parties are what legends are made of! Follow VNJ Ball on social media to find out when the next one is, and start planning your outfit now! 
Vogue Nights Jozi

In addition to these spots that host regular performances DragConSA hosts events which often feature international performers. Follow them at @dragconsa to keep up with the latest.

And if you're hosting an event and need that je ne sais quoi, look no further than Second Quosins, the lovely DJ duo who can often be found at Smoking Kills – they make every party pump. 

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