A Short Guide to Hiring a Drag Queen for Parties and Events in the UK

19 DECEMBER 2017
Blog post by Myles Eastwood
Estimated read time: 4 minutes

FixTheMusic has become one of the UK’s leading online platforms for hiring drag and cabaret entertainment across the country.

Previous clients include Virgin Sport, The Economist magazine, numerous pubs and clubs and a whole range of private individuals, whilst events span numerous private parties – significant birthdays, stag parties, hen dos and gay weddings – as well as corporate launches, sporting events and New Year’s Eve countdowns.

So in this blog post we thought it’d be worth outlining the different styles of drag entertainment available to hire on FixTheMusic, with a little cultural history thrown in for good measure.

Drawing on previous bookings that have gone through our booking system we’ll provide price estimates, recommended timings and suggestions for party themes. This is our guide to choosing the perfect drag act for your event or establishment!

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Drag is a Great British tradition with a proud history. UK entertainers have long thrived on satire, innuendo, camp comedy and cross-dressing, all of which forms the basis of modern drag routines.

Whilst drag thrives as a cult phenomenon, it frequently rears its head in mainstream entertainment through TV chat show hosts, pantomime dames and musical theatre like The Rocky Horror Picture Show. It also draws on a rich tapestry of British musical genres from Victorian music hall to 1970s glam rock, early Queen and David Bowie.

The UK drag scene is as varied as the LGBT community. Our drag acts perform regularly across the country and in traditional hotspots such as Brighton, Blackpool and parts of London, there are multiple weekly spots for drag queens in pubs, bars and comedy clubs.

Venues range from cabaret staples like Crazy Coqs hosted in the downstairs part of Brasserie Zédel, an art deco French cafe in Piccadilly Circus, to the Grade II-listed Royal Vauxhall Tavern which doubles as a nightclub for much of the week, alongside underground dives and working men’s clubs across all the major UK cities.

FixTheMusic typically receives enquiries for single drag queens. The average price is £348, with rates varying from £250-£550 for a soloist to perform an hour-long set or 2 x 30-minute sets with a break. All our acts are willing to travel and offer a variety of different ‘characters’ that can be tailored to your event theme.

Some of our drag queens specialise in mime or lip sync performance rather than live singing. Their performances throw a greater emphasis on choreography, punctuated by surreal humour.

We also have some amazing drag bands based in Birmingham, Cambridge and London. All of them boast great live vocals and are willing to travel anywhere.

Like our soloists, drag groups generally sing along to backing tracks though some offer the option of a live band too. Prices typically average around £780 for a three-piece lineup with backing tracks, whilst full bands and larger drag troupes can be hired from £2,000-3,000.

Our drag queens are also booked to MC or compere quiz nights, bingo nights and other events popular with university students. Many of them excel at stand-up comedy and will always pitch their banter perfectly to audiences of all ages.

We get enquiries for everything from family-friendly Disney song requests to ‘unshockable’ audiences and adult shows supplemented by male strippers, topless waiters and burlesque acts.

Submit an enquiry to receive bespoke quotes from available acts.

In terms of private parties, our clients book drag queens for everything from gay and straight wedding receptions to birthday parties, hen nights and stag dos. Other popular calendar dates for hiring drag entertainment include office Christmas parties, New Year and Halloween.

Many of our clients also hire a drag queen to meet, greet and mingle rather than perform as such. Guests always appreciate the company of a larger-than-life character who can complement other entertainment booked for the evening!

FixTheMusic’s drag acts perform all your favourite songs, from pop and disco classics by Chic, Cheryl Lynn and Whitney Houston to contemporary chart pop by Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga and Adele. Several acts have also collaborated with producers and DJs to record their own original pop songs.

We predict next year is going to be our biggest year yet for booking drag queens. Our drag acts are spread across the UK from Scotland, where the Edinburgh Fringe Festival is one of the most popular cabaret destinations, right down to the South West and everywhere in between!

Acts on FixTheMusic have public liability insurance and PAT tested equipment.

As with all FixTheMusic’s acts, our drag queens will be able to advise on what works best for your event. So if you’re unsure how and when to introduce live entertainment, ask them to suggest timings and a performance format.

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— Myles is a co-founder of FixTheMusic and works on marketing and development. He is a keen guitarist and was proud to play drums in the band for one of DENIM's first London drag shows in Bethnal Green in 2013!