From drag bingo to burlesque life drawing, campy cabaret and LGBTQIA+ friendly bars. Start your engines for these fierce events and inclusive venues.
Melbourne Fringe Festival
Melbourne Fringe is back with 20 jam-packed days of comedy, cabaret, drag and all things fabulous. Catch a live music showcase of female, queer and gender diverse artists. See a queer Blak cabaret. Or immerse yourself in the fierce falsetto of Leather Lungs. Peruse the full program for more hilarious and heartwarming acts.
Drag Bingo at Beast CBD
Get your drag with a side of finger lickin’ chicken at Beast CBD’s drag bingo night. Wingo Bingo takes over the burger joint on the first and third Wednesday of every month for a night of cheeky innuendos. It’s hosted by local queen Gloss, serving absolute looks. Feast on Dorito-crusted chicken (with vegan options available) and a giant plate of fries, while you listen out for your lucky number.
A cosy temple to all things camp and kitsch, The Butterfly Club features a revolving door of cabaret, comedy, drag, burlesque and more. The queer-friendly club hosts multiple shows every night, with a focus on emerging acts. Catch a rowdy good-time cabaret show. Or join burlesque life drawing at the weekly salon and get well-acquainted with feathers, fishnets and all things glam.
Drag ‘N’ Draw at Ferdydurke
Like the Polish novel it was named after, Ferdydurke is an exploration of identity and proudly non-conformist. If you’re feeling creative, this hidden laneway haunt is now hosting monthly drag queen drawing classes. Head up to the loft bar, settle in with a complimentary bev and try your hand at capturing luxe couture looks. There’s a rotating line-up of queens, including local Drag Race alum Aubrey Haive. Expect over-the-top costumes and equally over-the-top hostesses. Check it out on the last Tuesday of every month.
Unique, intimate and grungy – who doesn’t want a night out like that every once in a while? Find all three things combined at Club Voltaire. A quaint and quirky theatre and performing arts space in Raglan Street, North Melbourne. Check out weekly events like stand-up comedy and see Melbourne’s emerging cabaret and burlesque talent. This underground haunt favours the most original, offbeat and edgy shows, so you’re bound to see something memorable.
Gather some friends for a night of vintage vibes at Speakeasy Theatre. The Vaudeville Revue program features up to 15 artists per night, from jazz acts to stand-up comedy, dance and burlesque. Keep an eye out for tributes to the iconic Dolly Parton and jazz divas like Nina Simone and Billie Holiday. Or head along to one of the dozens of performances they have on every month.
More queer-friendly events
Greek Love: Outside the Lines
A colour-by-numbers exhibition at the Hellenic Museum explores queerness in Greco-Roman antiquity.
A questioning of storytelling and legacy, diving heart first into Queer joy, hope and dreaming.
Mesmerising performances as the cardinal sins are reimagined by seven First Nations performers.
Circus freaks unite at this sideshow revolution as part of Melbourne Fringe.
Last updated on Fri 22 Sep 2023
Carnival of Karactors
A rotating cast of steamy, sexy and silly circus artists, comedians and burlesque performers.
Sunday Night Stand Up Comedy Show
A mix of comics from the TV and radio, alongside some future stars.
12 Lies I Told Before 21
An unapologetic, uproarious cabaret for delusional theatre kids and larger than life dreamers.