After 48 consecutive hours of non-stop drag performances, a Drag-A-Thon in Portland has set the Guinness World Record for the longest drag artist stage show.
The extravaganza got underway on 10 July at the city’s legendary Darcelle XV Showplace venue before concluding two days later.
“Today, in Portland, Oregon, USA, you had a time of 48 hours, 11 minutes, 30 seconds. A new Guinness World Record,” said Michael Empric, Guinness World Records adjudicator.
The previous record was set six years ago in Melbourne, Australia at a time of 36 hours, 36 minutes and 40 seconds.
The team behind the Drag-A-Thon managed to raise $285,000 (£244,000) for The Trevor Project’s life-saving crisis services for LGBTQ+ youth.
“This event has been a historic testament to the power of self-expression”
More than 120 drag artists performed at the event, with over 600 songs and 700 set changes taking place throughout.
‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ stars Peppermint, Eureka O’Hara and Lala Ri were among those who took part.
“This event has been a historic testament to the power of self-expression,” said Emma McIlroy, a producer working on the event, who is also the founder and CEO of Wildfang, a clothing brand that organised the Drag-A-Thon.
“I’ve produced a lot of shows over my career, but nothing like Drag-A-Thon. We’re overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from the Portland community—there’s no other city in the world where we could have pulled this off.”
Organisers originally decided to attempt breaking the world record when Republican lawmakers began targeting the art of drag in the US.
In March, Tennessee became the first state to criminalise drag performances when its governor, Bill Lee, signed legislation prohibiting them from occurring on public property, as well as in places where those under the age of 18 could be present.
“Drag is not going anywhere”
Such legislation goes beyond Tennessee, with the Human Rights Campaign actively fighting against more than 40 anti-drag bills nationwide – many of which vaguely describe drag shows as “adult cabaret performances”.
Oregon Congressman Earl Blumenauer praised organisers for the Drag-A-Thon’s success.
“Congratulations to Darcelle XV Showplace and every drag queen who participated to break the world record for the longest continuous drag performance. It is only fitting Darcelle’s legendary showplace brings home this historic recognition,” he said.
“Despite hateful attempts to restrict or even ban drag performances across the country, in Portland drag is not going anywhere. We are proud to celebrate this incredible performance art and the entire LGBTQ+ community today and every day. Congratulations to all!”