Despite just a touch of the forecasted showers, a near-record number of revellers attended the 14th annual Big Gay Day held at one of the city’s favourite gay haunts, Fortitude Valley’s Wickham Hotel. An impressive line-up of performers made sure that Sydney was not the only city to have all the fun with Mardi Gras the weekend prior.
Revellers were treated to an entertainment line up that featured local Brisbane band Rawr Vanity, along with fellow Australian artists The Potbelleez and Sarah De Bono.
Meanwhile, international headline acts included an exclusive DJ set by Boy George, along with New York rapper Cazwell and dance acts Luciana and The Freemasons.
Current renovations to the Wickham Hotel also failed to derail the event, as it ran at capacity.
Australian comedian Caroline Reid, better known as Pam Ann, made a surprise appearance at the celebrations during the Brisbane leg of her national tour.
The event caught Reid completely off-guard and she couldn’t have been happier to lose her Big Gay Day virginity.
“It was beyond awesome, I honestly didn’t expect what I found there. I was just expecting a quiet beer.” Reid told the Star Observer.
“I ran out into the crowd and everyone was so warm, completely welcoming and loving. It was really one of my highlights of the tour… it took me by surprise.”
She gushed over the event’s signature performance, Mega Drag – a dance event featuring dozens of Brisbane’s best-known drag queens.
“I loved that big f*cking drag show, it was like McDonald’s super-sized drag,” Reid said.
The community charities that will benefit from the event’s funds raised include PFLAG Brisbane, the Queensland AIDS Council, Open Doors Youth Service and the Australian Transgender Support Association Queensland.
“We are thrilled that The Wickham was a full house for Big Gay Day over the weekend,” Big Gay Day chief and organiser Ruth Gardner told the Star Observer.
“The hotel had the biggest line up of international artists ever with Boy George singing along with his DJ set.
“The day ran so well and we are already looking forward to starting the planning for our next event.”
“The Wickham thanks all those that were involved in making Big Gay Day 2014 such a success.”
Boy George also praised Gardner for her hospitality on Twitter to nearly 300,000 followers.
Awesome time in Brisbane, fun gig, tortured the queens with my low slung sound but they suffered sweetly! Thanks Ruth, what a host!
— Boy George (@BoyGeorge) March 9, 2014
(Image: Caroline Reid enjoys Big Gay Day with some of Brisbane’s drag queens. Photo credit: Miles Heffernan)
MORE PHOTOS: Big Gay Day gallery