Please post all Wigstock and post-Wigstock party information here. Other Howlfest events do continue to post in the HF topic.

WIGSTOCK 2003

Saturday, August 23, 2003 4:30 PM - 6:30 PM
Tompkins Square Park

LADY BUNNY and several thousand of her most glamorous friends return to Tompkins Square Park for a special two-hour edition of the fabled and FREE wig-stravaganza. Starring Lypsinka, Taboo! Sweetie, The Girls from Lips, Sugga Pie Cocoa, Murray Hill, The Dazzle Dancers, Sade Pendavis, Raven O!, HRH Princess Diandra, Afro-dite, Mistress Formika and Richard Move.

Visit http://www.howlfestival.com/events/event02.html for full details, show history, and official afterparty information.
Original Post
Join SWEETIE and Daniel Nardicio for HIGH LIFE/ LOW LIFE this Saturday as they welcome international music superstar DEELITE's DJ DMITRY as their special HIGH LIFE dj. As if thats not hot enough, the talent for the evening is none other than international scandal.....the legendary diva HRH PRINCESS DIANDRA!!!! Do Wigstock, take a disco nap......and shake your ass ALL NIGHT LONG at HIGH LIFE/ LOW LIFE!!!

@The MArquee/ Slide
Bowery betwn great jones and east 4th streets
$8 cover- $5 with invite before midnite
showtime 1am
...and relax with free experimental film in a garden!

After Wigstock, Le Petit Versailles Community garden will be hosting the HOWL festival's "Avant Garde(n)" screenings for the night. We'll be starting when it gets dark. The program is called "The Beast Within" and it's curated by M.M. Serra.

For those of you who haven't seen Jack Smith's "Flaming Creatures" it is a work of unparalleled beauty; truly an encounter with the sublime and magical. Also really freaky, dirty and glamourous. For those of you who have seen it, you know you want more!

It's an extravaganza of sexy films by artists from the Lower East Side includes:
Jack Smith's "Flaming Creatures,"
Barbara Rubin's double screen projection "Christmas on Earth",
Abby Child's "Mayhem"
Jen Reeves/M.M. Serra's "Darling International"
and
"Deliquescence" (becoming liquid) a film/performance by Bradley Eros.

With a personal appearance by Queenie.

Where: Le Petit Versailles Garden
346 E. Houston (betw. Ave. B and C).

Tickets: Free
Go Johnny Go!

THE DANCE LIBERATION FRONT AND LEGALIZE DANCING NYC WANT YOU!

PROTEST THE NYC CABARET LAWS & HELP ESTABLISH A NEW GUINNESS WORLD RECORD FOR THE LARGEST LOCOMOTION DANCE AS PART OF THE 1ST ANNUAL HOWL FESTIVAL - RIGHT BEFORE WIGSTOCK

Meet at the east side of Tompkins Square (9th St. & Ave B) at 3 PM to organize and learn the moves. At 4 PM, we'll move to the bandshell to break the record before Wigstock begins. Legendary superstar DJ JOHNNY DYNELL will spin all the versions of this classic dance from LITTLE EVA to KYLIE! 375 Dancers breaks the world record - please come out and show your support!

www.LegalizeDancingNYC.com
Let me preface what I have to say about Wigstock 2003 in general with this:
It was a great pleasure to work with Sweetie and The High Life/Low Life crew on the production number we did. Choreographed by Julie Atlas Muz, it was truly a pleasure to work with an energetic group of people who have the old "Let's put on a show!" spirit that inspired us to do Wigstock in the first place way back when...

However, the rest of the event...

I have nothing against vile, toilet humor per se, but when one bad and filthy joke follows another ad nauseum, I begin to wonder just exactly what statement is being made here. I think the clincher was when Bunny said to the little girl of about six years old she brought onstage, who really was dressed in the true Wigstock spirit, "Alright get off the stage now, bitch!" Totally uncalled for and totally repulsive.
In fact, there were a lot of other statements from the gutter that day. And from the gutter in front of the Gap, not a very interesting gutter to use as a reference point at all.
Aside from a very few, such as Tabboo! and Bob and a very few others, the show was not very interesting, IMHO. Nothing cutting edge and nothing very entertaining either. But I suppose that makes it very East Village 2003, doesn't it?

I think the clincher for me was the attitude of a certain backstage "Security" person. Dressed in jeans and a T-Shirt, with no badge in sight (of course,) he nonetheless had NYPD written all over him. You know, courtesy, professionalism and respect all the way.
As I was trying to get a better look on the stage-right side backstage, he came at me. "Where the fuck are YOU going?" he bellowed up in my face. I decided to bite my tongue and didn't answer, but retreated to another spot. "YOU CAN'T FUCKING STAND THERE!" He came at me again all up in my face. I decided he was just crazy and turned my back on him and retreated to the stage left area.
About 1/2 hour later, I noticed Big Scott (former Wigstock backstage security btw) with his dog and stopped to say a few words to him. All of the sudden, my NYPD friend was back screaming at Scott. "You and the fucking dog have got to leave. No dogs allowed in here!" Scott of course raised a ruckus, as the dog has always been allowed backstage, but left. I didn't understand, if there was this sudden No Dogs Allowed rule, then why did they let Scott in in the first place?
Needless to say, I left the park, turning to the "security" and said, "If you had handled that right, there wouldn't have been a problem. But YOU made the problem, asshole."
The whole thing left a bitter taste in my mouth.
I am usually the one who says, "Never say never..." But let me say it. For me, Wigstock? Never again!
Cool
Wigstock has shown everyone in attendance through the years that creativity can change the world if we all choose to do so. Wigstock always brought to the stage many views of gay & staight life through it's humouristic sketches and music. The Last Blowout of 2001, was truly an ironic title for that Wigstock show for that year following the events of 9/11. This was the end of the innocence. Wigstock has demonstrated that with a little bit of laughter,color,music,& big wigs,that we all must continue making this city and planet of ours a more loving and free thinking place to be in. Wigstock 2003 brought incredible weather and incredibly spirited people of all walks of life. It was Heaven sent. Thank You Lady Bunny, and all the Wigstock producers. I'm glad that you bought that little child up on stage. That was a statement that really culminated the event. The message i saw there is that we all depend on each other for the sake of harvesting Love.Wigtock is LOVE!
Wigstock brought the largest crowd to the park of all the festival events as far as I could tell. It was a show of power, not just on the part of the performers but on the part of the public, and specifically the public that chooses a Wigstock to attend. On that note I think the show was very important for the culture of the city. Unlike many other alt-gender events here, Wigstock is in large part an event by gay/lesbian/trans artists for the 'general' public. And obviously that public has a hunger for the aggressive, totally high-spirited humor, pathos and sexuality of Wigstock.
I take Hattie's exceptions advisedly and I can be very critical of any aesthetic presentation low or high. I noticed from the moment Bunny opened the show that it took quite a bit of time for the crowd, which was somewhere around 50% straight from what I could see, to get comfortable with the aggressiveness and totally blatant obscenity of much of the content. The initial tentativeness of the crowd was a sad sign of how effective over 15 years of national and local cultural idiocy promulgated by the political regimes that have been in power has been. But in the end the raw humor was too much to ignore. I do cringe when I see a small child become the foil of an abusive remark but I think I will grant an exception because of the context, ( the child's mother, wonderfully done up as a corporate guy, obviously was nonplussed ) although I think there is plenty of room for doubt about it, and it has nothing to do with being politically correct. The reason I feel okay about giving consideration to what Hattie points out as being a preponderance of scatalogical content is just the very outright oppressive conditions of the present time we inhabit. With an overt, public display of pro-drug, pro-profanity, pro-wild sex, -with an overarching dsiplay of publicly performed transgressiveness sanctioned by what must have been an audience of 5,000 or more, it is an undeniable repudiation of every increment of sanitization that has been shoved down the city's throat since the first day of the last mayor's reign of brutal ignorance. Maybe it is just an air of 'nothing left to lose' that permeated the event, but as a resident of the East Village I was totally gratified by the marathon of uncensored performance. I am just cautious about anticipating the event happening again next year because I think 10,000 people will show up and the park will not be able to handle it all. Deja spew.
I think the larger question involves the idea of the whole festival. Does it represent a real steadfast presence of the bohemia, tollerance, concentration of creativity and diverse ways of living that the East Village had contained? Or is it just a kind of civic temperament-management excersize where once in a year the remnants of those characteristics are allowed to act out?
...perhaps it was that "display of publicly performed transgressiveness" that ticked off my "friend" from the NYPD, seven.


As far as the rest of the HOWL festival went, I was just amazed at its scope and the amount of people involved, although I was not able to attend most of it. I wonder if they will be doing this every year. Lord knows, as difficult as it was to deal with the City in 1985, it must truly be a nightmare with this money-hungry post-Guilliani regime.
Well, I have to say that I was overjoyed to read Chi-Chi's post touting the festival as a bit depressing. I enjoyed Wigstock and a few of the other events, but it was sad to see that even members of the original club dynasty of manhattan were milling about quietly, almost smugly. Yes, it has all been done before, it wasn't anything new, it wasn't cutting edge, offensive, or remotely underground. Perhaps the Howl Festival and Wigstock should serve merely as a promotional event for the nightlife underground. Allowing the pleated khaki's and wannabe squares a brief glimpse into the nightlife circus that exists behind the scenes. I would feel inspired to dawn my best rags and even pull that mammoth makeup case from the top of my closet if I knew we were only there (in broad daylight) to humor the khaki-clad squares and show them what is really going on in our community(and take some of their money$$). We really shouldn't try to pretend that it is still cutting edge. That will only slow down the progression of new events.
I hope this isn't offensive to anyone. All I really want is to take the nagging boredom and depression from the scene and squash it into the ground!
I am new, so correct me if I am wrong! It seems as though everything that was once undergrond, taboo, and so devilishly fun has been thrust into the mainstream media so quickly that the nightlife didn't have time to catch up. Everything that was so fun before is just a drag now because it isn't subversive anymore. Its ok to be a drag queen, the whole world has seen the manhattan club kids spattered across the nightly news and geraldo (haha). We have all had a breakdown from our extravagent drug use and the whole scene that was once a secret underground society is common knowledge to those khaki clad blokes who were at Tompkins Square Park for Wigstock.
So what to do now? Hmmmm...I say we stand up throw it back into everyone's face and rise again. If you don't want the khaki blokes in your neighborhood, then go out on the street make some noise and do something offensive. It really isn't right that we should all retreat in the face of normalcy. I was in the Cock on a Friday night (ugh...) and as I watched 50 people smoking and snorting I though "they get away with this because this place is so offensive and gross no one wants to come in here to enforce their sad laws." I certainly don't want to promote that scene, but it doesn't seem fair that all of the true oddities are relegated to law abiding complacency while the true normals get away with extravagence. Oops! I'm ranting! Can someone please explan this?
Roll Eyes T-A -double-B- O-O. Hellow!
I think the larger answer involves the idea of the whole festival. It does represent a real steadfast presence of the bohemia, tollerance, concentration of creativity and diverse ways of an art-community that of the East Village has contained for decades. It's not a kind of civic temperament-management excersize where once in a year the remnants of those characteristics are allowed to act out.Nonsence! The state/city of New York, despite of all it's poop politics, poop mayors, and poop police has always survived every type of scatalogical situation. New York has witnessed the birth of many cultural events. The East Village is truly a New York landmark. And Wigstock a decadent event.
That is a very astute take on The C**k, fluffernutter. And our Great Society in general.
In NYC, in the mid-eighties, all the gay bathhouses were shut down because it was thought (erroneously, I feel) that men were more prone to unsafe sex there. Well, now, in 2003, there a few bathhouses and they are all hidden away on the second floor and don't really make a big splash or advertise too much. So that's OK. Out of sight, out of mind. Don't ask, don't tell, etc. Kinda like The C**k, no?
But, back to this topic...

I have no problem peforming for the khaki-clad personally. In fact, I kind of like it. If I remember correctly, the fact that there were a few Wall Streeters mixed in with the audience in 1985 helped make it a very heady experience-- they were folks who never got a chance to see us at night and it's always a pleasure to "reach out and touch!"

I guess some of us were just hoping a few more people would have bothered to dress up. And that some of the entertainment was a little bit more than dated Michael Jackson jokes and bitchy onstage cattiness. Oh well.

But perhaps the audience demographics had more to do with the way the event was publicized. Indeed many outside the East Village had no idea what I was talking about when I mentioned the HOWL Festival and Wigstock 2003. There was heavy email promo from HOWL (as well as their oft-confusing website) and very little from the Wigstock producers themselves. Certainly there were none of the tried and true hardcopy methods used in the past such as posters, invites. One benefit of the pre-Wigstock fundraisers of yore, is that it worked everybody up to a fever pitch. And as a result, many flew in from all over the world just for the day. And dressed. And wigged out sublimely.

Certainly also I missed some of the performers due to my side stage brou-hahas, as well as waiting to go on (in an area where you could not see a thing,) so perhaps I should not be so severe in my judgement.

[This message was edited by hatches on 08-27-03 at 12:59 AM.]
I didn't think it was great either and the crowd was REALLY lame ...just a bunch of freak peekers wanting a taste of bohemia but I do think the performers should get more credit than they did...after all they were doing it for there own community not the khaki wearing freak peekers.
I'm sure lady bunny worked her butt off to make it happen and that too should be respected.
All in all I was sad when I left.It reminded me of all the good things new york had to offer but has been destroyed.Everyday is wigstock for me and everyday I have an audience of 8 million...freak peekers looking at me whether I like it or not!
I must say that the harshness of some of the responses in this category surprised me. That being said this was my first Wigstock, so maybe a fresh perspective will help.

As a member of the Motherboards, who walks the drag and preppy line as well as anyone, I'm very sensitive to acceptance or lack of there of. I don't worry about the acceptance of my mother friends seeing me in my Wall St. mode, but I do worry about bashers.

I've also been to a number of events before were I've felt the Kaki's were in attendance to gawk, including the 2001 Exotic Erotic Ball. (Awful!)

I didn't get that sense on Saturday. Could there have been a better drag showing? Absolutely. But there was a fair showing of Punks, freaks and geeks and I didn't feel that anyone was there to make a spectical of anyone else, they were just there to enjoy the show.

In the end isn't acceptance what all this is about?

Now for those of you who have attended/performed in Wigstocks past....I HEAR YOU! Nothing is ever as good as the original. (Case in point the first time i did blow) But please don't forget the newbies and what an event like this can mean in terms of inspiration to a new queen or believe it or not....a Kaki who's never had the guts to get dressed in public.

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