Melbourne’s Art Simone Crowned ‘Drag Performer of the Year’


Melbourne’s Art Simone has been crowned Drag Performer of the Year at the inaugural Melbourne Drag Awards last weekend.

Held at Vau d’vile Drag Cabaret Restaurant, the ceremony announced a series of Victorian drag winners as decided by an online public vote and a panel of judges.

“I was so honoured and flattered to be recognised by my peers, but most importantly the community,” Simone told the Star Observer.

“It’s the best pat on the back you can get, knowing that people do take notice of all the hard work, dedication, and sheer glamour.”

Simone said that to her, drag is the ultimate form of self-expression.

“It’s a tool that I get to use every day to not only express what I’m feeling at the time, whether that be creative, inspired, crazy, sad, or passionate, and channel that into a form that I can use to entertain,” she said.

“There’s not many jobs that let you do it – I’m so lucky.”

Simone, who last year appeared in an advertisement for insurance company AAMI with longtime collaborator Philmah Bocks, said drag was becoming more and more mainstream.

“In just the past year we’ve seen drag queens become faces of national companies, headline festivals, perform in concerts, feature on TV, and even more,” she said.

“We’re no longer taboo creatures that live in the back of bars with a beer in each hand – we’re now celebrated personalities who are getting the mainstream recognition we deserve.”

For the full list of winners, visit the Melbourne Drag Awards website.