Cindy Pastel

On the 8th of September 1994, a film was released that would change the face of Drag Queens forever. Priscilla Queen Of The Desert has become an iconic and important part of Australian Motion Picture History and Cindy Pastels life is deeply entrenched within the script and characters of the film.

Stephan Elliot wrote and directed Priscilla and the character Mitzi, played by Hugo Weaving was based on Cindy Pastel.

It is with great pleasure and the utmost honour we announce Cindy Pastel as our headline act for our Opening Night festivities.

Cindy will be joining the crew for all 3 days of drag in the desert. You will see her work on the main stage, cabaret stage and we are very excited that she will be hosting and introducing the screening of Priscilla on Sunday night, giving us a personal love, hate insight to her involvements and her life changes post Priscilla.

Cindy debuted back in 1979 at Sydney’s Patches talent show where she played both a man and a woman as she performed Sonny & Cher’s A Love Like Yours. Since then Cindy (aka Richie Finger) has become one of the most iconic drag queens in Australia.

Cindy didn’t win that competition, she didn’t come second either. Nor did she lose. But what did happen is that the hostess, Trixie, asked her to come back and then offered her full time work and thus begun an iconic and fabulous journey for Cindy.

Her most infamous days at the Albury Hotel on Oxford street where Cindy found her ground creating a mashup of couture diva and kabooky chaos, Cindy embraced her unique and unmatched style of drag.

We are very proud and privileged to have Cindy here at the Festival celebrating along with us.


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