Monday, July 26

Ohio Drag Show Canceled After COVID Guidelines Violated at Previous Show

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Atlanta Dayèrayè was so excited.

After months of planning and promoting, the 24-year-old drag queen organized, hosted and performed in “Wings, Wigs, and Wine” on January 27 at The Barrel in Springboro, Ohio. Thought to be the first ever drag show in the small southwest Ohio city, tickets sold out in only 72 hours.

Though the vast majority of the show complied with COVID-guidelines, one performer did not. That prompted Atlanta to post a public apology on Facebook the following day.

Atlanta says bar owner Dawn Roskovich did not want to honor Atlanta’s request that the performer not be welcomed back for the next show, and that Roskovich asked Atlanta to take down the apology post or the upcoming show on February 24 would be canceled. Atlanta refused, and decided instead to pull the show herself. When contacted, Roskovich said she had no comment for this piece.

The Buckeye Flame spoke with Atlanta to find out what happened and what she plans to do next.

From what I saw online, the show looked great!
It was wonderful. I would never say it wasn’t wonderful. The first half went really, really well. Everyone was complying with the guidelines for COVID. The second half didn’t go so well.

Atlanta Dayèrayè

What happened?
One of my performers sadly did not wear their mask for 3 out of their 4 numbers. I spoke to her during the show, but she still didn’t comply. Every other performer did wear their mask.

I can’t speak on the bar staff or the business staff on whether they wore their masks. I heard back and forth that they were and they weren’t, so I can’t say anything about that. My only issue is that my performer did not have a mask on. A day later, I spoke to the owner and she did not want to respect my decision to not have the performer back for the next show.

Why would the owner care if one of the performers came back?
She said the performer stole the show, probably because the performer was all over the tables and on top of people. Yes, you’re going to steal the show if you’re going to do all that. I didn’t approve of any of that behavior. I made strict orders and strict guidelines to make the event COVID-safe. I made that very clear days and months in advance so that everybody would have a safe and fun night. And I did not feel parts of the show were safe.

Basically I told her that I was not comfortable working with his performer with how they were going over my head in not following the guidelines. The owner gave me an ultimatum that I remove my apology post online or the show would be canceled.

How did you respond to that?
I made the ultimate decision that I was not going to remove my post because I felt like there was an apology that needed to be said due to the lack of safety. I will not sit here and allow things to be said and done at my shows where it is unprofessional and unsafe, especially when I am trying to bring a safe environment for everybody who attends.

Masks are a very huge and important and you need to be wearing them at crowded events, shows, or concerts.  Anywhere you are going around people, you need to wear a mask. She did not like my response, so I told her that I was going to be moving on, that I would no longer be holding my events at her bar and that I wish her nothing but the best of luck. I thanked her and told her to have a good day. She said best of luck to me.

What will you do now?
Next step is to look for a new bar. I’m reaching out to a few different bars in the area to see if we can set up dates to meet and organize drag shows. I plan on not stopping. I plan on doing everything I can do to make this community as great as it can be and make shows a safe place for everybody during COVID. 🔥

Ignite Action:

  • Contact Atlanta Dayèrayè if you have venue ideas for future drag shows in the Springboro region.
  • Wear a mask. 

About Author

Ken Schneck, Editor

Ken Schneck is the Editor of The Buckeye Flame. He is the author of "Seriously, What Am I Doing Here? The Adventures of a Wondering and Wandering Gay Jew" (2017), "LGBTQ Cleveland" (2018), "LGBTQ Columbus" (2019), and "LGBTQ Cincinnati" (2020). In his spare time, he is a professor of education at Baldwin Wallace University.

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