Box Office Insider: RuPaul’s Drag Race Back To ‘Werq’ With World Tour

Entertainers from “RuPaul’s Drag Race” are set to hit the road again this month and resume the “Werq The World” tour with performances booked in North American cities through August. The tour with stars from the popular reality competition television show first launched in May 2017 and has featured live performances on five continents during the subsequent six-year span.

This summer’s trek through the U.S. and Canada will begin June 17 in Atlantic City, New Jersey at the Tropicana Showroom and continue with theater performances planned in 42 cities. The final U.S. show will occur in the Washington, D.C., area at The Theater at MGM National Harbor on Aug. 26.

Among the venues set to host the tour are New York’s Radio City Music Hall with a performance on Aug. 25, marking a return engagement for the production. The tour previously played at the theater last summer, drawing a capacity crowd on July 28, 2022 with 5,411 fans in attendance. It earned $404,334 at the box office.

Chicago is on the schedule as well with an upcoming Aug. 4 show booked at the Rosemont Theatre. And, again, it is an encore performance as the tour first appeared there on July 23 of last year. At the prior event, 3,159 tickets were sold for a gross totaling $250,122.

In fact, a total of nine North American venues on this year’s itinerary also welcomed the drag tour in 2022. Likewise, two of this year’s theaters previously booked the tour during its 2019 leg that ran in the fall. And four more of this summer’s booked venues were on the schedule in both of those earlier years.

Since the “Werq The World” tour launched in Toronto on May 26, 2017, box office figures from 45 of the theater performances have been reported to Pollstar, primarily from North American and European venues. Shows have averaged about $154,000 in grosses at each performance while the average number of sold tickets per night comes to 2,143.

Among individual venue totals, the tour’s highest-grossing performance was recorded during last year’s European leg. Lanxess Arena in Cologne, Germany, hosted the tour on May 2, 2022 and recorded a gross of $511,973 (€485,715) from 5,133 sold seats. Then, the top grosser in North America was established just weeks later at the aforementioned Radio City Music Hall performance on July 28 with that show’s $404,334 box-office take.

RuPaul's Drag Race Werq The World Tour Austin, TX
Kameron Michaels performs during RuPaul’s Drag Race Werq The World Tour at ACL Live on July 19, 2022 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Rick Kern/Getty Images)

The best attendance from one of the tour dates was also recorded at a venue in Europe. The drag stars appeared at The OVO Hydro in Glasgow, Scotland, on May 20, 2022 and played for a crowd of 6,027. The UK arena performance registered a gross of $381,756 (£303,716). Stateside, the venue with the top ticket count was, again, Radio City Music Hall with 5,411 tickets sold in 2022.

Although the “Werq” tour went on hiatus during the pandemic when indoor performing was not an option, New York’s Voss Events that produced the “RuPaul’s Drag Race” tour was one of the few that identified a safe alternative for a live show. Thus, the “Drive ‘N Drag” traveling concert tour was produced with performances set in outdoor drive-ins during the shutdown.

Box office tallies were reported for events at 75 drive-ins, many of them with multiple shows offered to fans. A total of 217 performances are stored in the archives with a box office haul totaling $14.2 million from 263,357 sold tickets.

The highest ticket count on record at one of the drive-in events was 21,840 at the Rose Bowl parking lot in Pasadena, California. The entertainers performed eight shows during a three-day period, July 31 through Aug. 2, 2020, and again the following year with seven more shows in March 2021. Gross revenue from all 15 shows totaled $706,882.

The Rose Bowl was one of three drive-in sites that hosted the tour in both 2020 and 2021. Chicago’s Soldier Field was the location for six performances in August 2020 and six the following May with a total of 11,229 tickets moved at both engagements. Also, eight shows were held at the Southland Mall parking lot in Hayward, California, in October 2020 and six more in May 2021 with a combined ticket total of 13,480.