One Year Later: Talking to Sharon Needles about her last time on stage, at Glitterbomb

my management had called and calmly told me to not walk but RUN to Heathrow”

Glitterbomb, for years, has been about bringing the LGBT+ community together. At the start of March we were hearing reports of Covid-19 but we had no idea the impact it was going to have on our way of life. Sharon Needles was in the middle of her UK tour – having performed in Cambridge on Tuesday 10th March, she was then scheduled to appear at the University of Surrey with us on Saturday 14th March and then Tokyo Tea Rooms in Canterbury on Tuesday 17th March.

We remember things beginning to get serious in Cambridge. Talk of the virus and what was going to happen next were sources of speculation and rumour. Meet & Greets suddenly needed to be socially distanced. It’s fair to say if you weren’t concerned before, you were beginning to be concerned now. Fast forward to Saturday morning, with Surrey that evening, and borders are closing; Glitterbomb HQ receives a call from management saying that Sharon needs to get home ASAP. It was a surreal moment. To think that borders closing could even be a thing at that time was strange. There was talk of her not even performing at the Surrey show – that’s how urgent it all became. In the end, the show went ahead, but what we didn’t know was that it would be our last proper show for quite sometime.

It’s hard to believe that we are now a whole year on from that moment.

An entire year without us coming together on a dancefloor, being with our friends the way we used to be, without falling out of Glitterbomb between 2/3am after a brilliant event. We caught up with Sharon Needles to ask her about our/everyones last night out before lockdown.

Do you remember much about the night in Surrey when it all got serious?

What was going through your head when we had to end the tour early and you had to go back to the US?

Remember ?! How could I forget?! But we’ve toured before so I can’t say I’m surprised – you’d assume I may have forgot 😉 I had come to the UK through Asia, so I had a first hand account of the severity of what could be coming. While the audience was somewhat unaware of what I had witnessed in Taiwan, I was conscious of every cough, sneeze and hug in those meet and greets. After every Glitterbomb show I did, I was quickly becoming more concerned of my exit. I love the UK but the thought of being trapped away from home was real! I hope it didn’t show in my performances. Right before my show in Surrey my management had called and calmly told me to not walk but RUN to Heathrow as the ban started in mere hours and I had to get on the last flight out to the United States. Stress overload… but I had no idea that would be my last show for almost a calendar year.

Sharon performs on the Rubix Stage in Surrey

Over lockdown, what has it been like for you personally? Did you manage to achieve much? Was it a struggle or did you find yourself being productive?

The first 2 months were amazing! I’ve been running around the planet non stop since 2012! But I’ve come to realize that my very existence only excels when being gawked at. No work. A divorce. My mom getting ill. When it rains it pours. But I was lucky enough to have a strong and magical fan base that lifted me up and forced me back to work.

Have you been doing any online drag shows?

I’ve had the privilege to produce a Halloween special with Allen Cumming! A New Year’s Eve concert. Plus my Valentine’s Day show LOVE IS DEAD. Fitting title for me and I’m sure others!

Sharon performing at Vinyl, Cambridge

Do you have any tips or advice for people going through lockdown?

No! I’m looking for advice. I rarely leave my bed!

What are your hopes for 2021? What would you like to achieve personally or career wise?

My hopes are to get right in the head. This year did a number on me. I’ve spread myself so thin this last decade for the sake of art, fame, fans and purpose, and all those things that I’ve stowed away came flooding in when the brain dam broke. Not to be boohoo but I’ve always been honest with fans, and want them to know a punk drunk clown, like many of you, can admit I’m not ok.

If you could only watch one new series of drag race in 2021 – what one would it be and why?

Favorite Drag Race?! UK!!! The rest can retire ! Hope to see you soon. Check on your friends. And drinking doesn’t solve everything, but it solves enough. Happy Halloween??

Our last show – Sharon Needles in Surrey