- James Buck ©️ Seven Days
- Kandi Kisses performing at Drag Ball 2020
"Everything's just too much up in the air right now," said Bob Bolyard of musical comedy drag group the House of LeMay, which organizes the event. He cited high COVID-19 case counts as the reason for the postponement. Though Vermont's cases appear to be dropping, the state's daily average is still well over 1,000, according to the New York Times.
Tickets already purchased will be honored for the new date, and refunds will be issued to those who can't make the rescheduled event.
Bolyard said Drag Ball is known to draw 1,000 people, Higher Ground's maximum capacity with its 700-head Ballroom and 300-head Showcase Lounge. He said that they considered capping admission at roughly half, but "400 or 500 people just wouldn't feel right" for the spirit of the event.
Unlike other types of performances and events, Drag Ball wouldn't work well with social distancing, Bolyard stressed.
"People are just packed [in] and laughing and singing and yelling," he said of past years.
The last Drag Ball was in February 2020, just a few weeks before the pandemic upended daily life. For its 26th anniversary in 2021, it pivoted to an online format. The House of LeMay wanted this year's ball to be a return to normalcy, given that they scheduled it before the Omicron wave.
On the plus side, Bolyard said, the date shift may allow certain performers who were unavailable in February an opportunity to participate.
The second weekend in May is a particularly busy one in Chittenden County. Saint Michael's College holds its spring semester commencement on Sunday, May 15. And indie rock music and arts festival Waking Windows, which takes over the entirety of downtown Winooski, runs Friday, May 13, through Sunday, May 15; it was twice postponed since 2020.