This year’s DIVAs will take place at the Museum of Contemporary Art on September 6.

Organiser Greg Steele told Sydney Star Observer DIVA would be going back to its roots.

“Last year we stepped right away from drag queens as performers and hosts — we thought we’d give the girls a night off,” he said.

“But the feedback we got from the girls was that they wanted to see drag on the night, so we’ve done a back-flip and it’s all about drag this year.

“A lot of people have said the DIVAs are about seeing the best of the best on show, so we’re listening.”

With awards including Bitch of the Year, Hall of Fame and Belle of the Ball, voting comes from a mixture of public and peers — four categories are voted for by a judging panel of eight, who have spent the past year seeing every possible drag show Sydney’s gay scene has to offer.

Another section is voted for by members of the public on a voting day, the last Saturday before the Awards.

“And this year, we’ve actually introduced online voting for two awards — Favourite Venue and Favourite DJ, which we’ve resurrected after not holding last year,” Steele said.

Voting will open once the DIVAs officially launch, at the Stonewall Hotel from 7pm on Monday, August 9. Tickets will go on sale from the DIVA’s website the following day.

For now, Steele is busy organising the awards. He said one of the biggest challenges this year is maintaining the event’s high production standards in the face of dwindling corporate sponsorship.

info: www.divaawardsaustralia.com.au

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