Wigstock Returns: Neil Patrick Harris, Lady Bunny Revive Iconic New York Drag Festival

Wigstock, New York's outdoor drag festival, will return to the city on Sept. 1 with a lineup that includes Alaska, Amanda Lepore, Bianca Del Rio, Candis Cayne, Jackie Beat, Latrice Royale, Lypsinka and Peppermint.
Courtesy of Tabboo! 2018/Gordon Robichaux, NY/The Artist; Jonathan Bayme

Wigstock is back.

The iconic outdoor New York drag festival that took place regularly from 1985 until 2001 is being brought back to life for one night thanks to founder Lady Bunny and Neil Patrick Harris. Scheduled as a daylong event, Wigstock will take place Sept. 1 at the newly opened Rooftop at Pier 17 in New York's Seaport District.

Lady Bunny is executive producing the reincarnated show with Harris and his husband, David Burtka, alongside Oscar-winner Bruce Cohen, uber manager Jason Weinberg of Untitled Entertainment and Matador Content. Pride Media, which owns LGBTQ publications The Advocate and Out, is producing and handling production and partnership sales. Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC), the world's first HIV/AIDS service organization, is on board as well as Wigstock's nonprofit partner.

In a statement, Harris praised Wigstock, which was covered in the 1995 documentary Wigstock: The Movie, for connecting the LGBTQ community and its straight allies for two decades "while breaking down stereotypes and helping everyone to love and understand each other more." He continued: "On Broadway in Hedwig and the Angry Inch, I got to dip my toe in the delicious, champagne-filled pool called drag, so I am now drunk with excitement to help bring back a show filled with over-the-top and sometimes out-of-control performances at a time when we all desperately need to come together, to laugh and to be entertained."

Wigstock did not completely disappear. It has taken place in various forms since 2001, including most recently as a boat cruise through the city

"When Wigstock started in 1985, the LGBTQ community was in desperate need of an event where everyone could pull out their wigs and come together, with the help of some glitter, glitz and a glue gun or two," said Lady Bunny in a statement. "There couldn't be a better time than now to honor the legends of Wigstock, who paved the way for drag culture's current popularity, by bringing back an outrageous and unapologetically entertainment-rich show. Our list of performers is a veritable who's who of drag queens, including classic NYC-based favorites who were fixtures at the original Wigstocks, newer NYC queens, members of the bourgeoning Brooklyn drag scene and previous winners of RuPaul's Drag Race."

Already confirmed to attend and perform are Harris and Lady Bunny along with Alaska, Alex Newell, Amanda Lepore, Barbara Tucker, Bianca Del Rio, Bob the Drag Queen, Candis Cayne, Charlene Incarnate, Darcelle XV, Desmond the Amazing, Dina Martina, Heklina, Jackie Beat, Jada Valenciagia, Jinx Monsoon, Joey Arias, Justin Vivian Bond, Kevin Aviance, Latrice Royale, Lina Bradford, Linda Simpson, Lypsinka, Murray Hill, Peaches Christ, Peppermint, Raven O, Sherry Vine, Taylor Mac, Unitard, Varla Jean Merman and Willam.

More information about the event can be found here