A venue that hosted a cabaret drag-style event for parents of young children has vowed to continue hosting shows despite a growing campaign against them online.
Footage of two performers performing for adults, most of whom were accompanied by babies, at The Flair Ground in Waterloo, London, went viral on social media after some accused the venue of targeting drag acts at babies.
The video showed a dancer, known as Benloader Circus, performing acrobatic sequences on belts dangling from the ceiling as parents watched.
A second performer, known as Miss Lucinda B. Hind, was also featured in the video, wearing a thong and feather boa. The artist did a handstand on a chair in front of the watching audience.
Despite criticism, the CabaBabaRave show, run by VAULT Festival, is going ahead after organizers issued a statement explaining its target audience and condemning “unforgivable threats of violence and assault” against the performers and the wider LGBT+ community.
Footage showed a dancer performing acrobatic sequences on belts dangling from the ceiling, watched by parents accompanied by their babies
Another act on the show, which is aimed at parents, performed a number including a handstand on a chair while wearing typical cabaret underwear and a feather boa.
The VAULT Festival, which hosts CabaBabaRave, posted a statement on Twitter
The organizers emphasized that the cabaret event was intended for adults but provided an inclusive space for parents of young babies by incorporating some “sensory moments” into the experience.
A statement released by VAULT said: ‘We are aware of comments on social media directed at CABABABARAVE, part of the 2023 VAULT Festival programme.
‘The cabaret show is aimed at parents, with sensory moments for babies, and is a fun and welcoming space for parents with young babies.
VAULT Festival exists to support live performance and artistic talent and prides itself on hosting events that are welcoming and accessible to all, with audience safety always being a top priority.
“We stand against the unforgivable threats of violence and assault against our programmed artists, our staff and against the LGBTQIA+ community, and support the affected artists.”
The show brands itself as a “little slice of afternoon delight” that alternates cabaret with “captivating baby sensory moments” before “ending in a rave.”
Ben Loader circus is a performer who studied at the National Center for Circus Arts, specializing in aerial rope.
Miss Lucinda B. Hind describes herself as an ‘actress, wife, star and lover!’, combining her training in various elements of the arts such as theatre, circus and contortion to put on a show.
But the show was labeled “repulsive” and “sickening” after the footage went viral on social media, fueled by users suggesting the cabaret show was suitable for children.
CabaBabaRave has a sold-out show on March 11, while more events will take place through the end of May. The general admission price is £25.50.
But they face a campaign launched to try and shut down future reruns of the show.
Broadcaster Dominique Samuels, who shared the original footage on Twitter, urged people to contact the company if they have concerns about security.
She shared the footage with her followers, claiming that the organizers “target babies” and engage in “grotesque grooming.”
But prominent members of the UK’s LGBT+ community hit back, accusing her of spreading lies and ‘incitement to hatred… for influence’, including Drag Race UK icon Crystal.
Crystal replied to Mrs. Samuels: ‘I would like to point out that you lie, incite hatred and are generally despicable – all to gain influence on the Internet.
‘Find a real job! Maybe try dragging!’
A campaign to get the ‘drag act for babies’ show canceled grows on social media after Dominique Samuels shared the footage online
CabaBabaRave has a sold-out show on March 11, while further events will take place at the Flair Ground in the Vaults near Waterloo through the end of May (pictured)
CabaBabaRave brands itself as a ‘little slice of afternoon delight’ that alternates cabaret with ‘captivating baby sensory moments’ before ‘ending in a rave’
Many of the parents in attendance were able to take photos and videos of the performances while watching
Sherlock actress Amanda Abbington joined the debate, tweeting: “I lost quite a few followers because I said a half-naked man in thigh-high boots dancing in a highly sexualized manner shouldn’t be performing in front of babies and it tells me everything I need to know about where society is headed. How do you disagree with me here????’
One commenter added, “More concerned that the parents think that sort of thing is appropriate and brought their babies there in the first place.”
One Twitter user expressed disbelief, saying, “What parent (if we can call them that) in their right mind would subject EVERY child to this.
‘What damage is done to these young minds; parents are there to protect children from this kind of behavior. Why is this allowed to continue????’
The promo for a Christmas show at the Fox and Firkin, Lewisham adds: ‘We wanted to create the kind of event that we as mothers would want to go to ourselves. You can only listen to the f****** Wheels on the Bus so many times.
“We wanted to give parents the experience of a ‘big night out in London’.
The latest controversy comes after months of protests over events like Drag Queen Story Time, where drag queens sit and read stories to children.