Counter Corner Returns to the Corner December 16

Counter Corner co-organizer Karla Croqueta.
Counter Corner co-organizer Karla Croqueta. Photo by Karli Evans
Almost four years to the day, one of Miami's most influential parties was born in an attempt to "fill a void in Miami's queer scene." Noticing the lack of such scene in the Magic City, Counter Corner organizers decided to carve out a space for themselves at the Corner, a bar in downtown Miami, with the goal of creating and fostering community and safe spaces. The Sunday-night bash was worth crawling into the workweek for. It was a fun party that would forever go down in Miami's kooky history.

Counter Corner, the queer scene's pillar, was dubbed by New Times as Miami's best LGBT and queer party and one of the city's best drag shows. In June 2017, it expanded and moved to 1306 after the organizers encountered challenges such as capacity, bathroom lines, and performance visibility.

Seven months after establishing a new home at 1306, the party ended abruptly early this year due to various factors, including an inability to pay performers and scheduling conflicts with the venue. Though capacity at the Corner was one of the reasons the party moved to a new location, Counter Corner co-organizer Sleeper says 1306's space was too big for the event.

"We took the time to kind of investigate where we wanted to go with the party," the performance artist says of the event's hiatus. "By that time, the landscape had kind of changed. A lot of the queens who had started through our events had moved on to regular bookings and were making a name for themselves at this point... which is great — that's kind of the goal of our event." Counter Corner aims to showcase new performers in the alternative queer scene on mainland Miami and provide a platform for them to share the bill with more established ones. Sleeper and co-organizer Karla Croqueta pride themselves on making the party a "survey show" that presents a range of drag, and they describe the party as "an experimentation space."
Counter Corner co-organizer Sleeper. - PHOTO BY COMET
Counter Corner co-organizer Sleeper.
Photo by Comet
After reevaluating the party, Sleeper and Karla Croqueta are taking the wild and debauched bash back to its roots at the Corner with some of the original cast members on Sunday, December 16. Can we get an "Amen"? Sleeper explains, "We held out for a minute to try to kind of test the waters at different venues, but all in all, what we kept hearing from everyone was the nostalgia for the original version of Counter Corner, which had a lot of grit to it."

Thanks to sponsorships from Reyka Vodka, Milagro Tequila, Peroni, and This Free Life, the party is coming back with a budget to compensate its performers and a yearlong contract with the brands. "I'm glad to have had the moment between then and now to kind of reevaluate the things that were going right with the event and want to keep and the things we had issues with,” Sleeper says. Changes to the new iteration include incorporating the Corner’s outdoor area, adding multiple bars and new DJs, and improving the stage to allow better views of the performances.

The stacked event, hosted by Karla Croqueta, will include performances by viral sensation Florida Man, Miss Toto, Jupiter Velvet, Queef Latina, Aurora Whorealis, Vex the Thing, King Femme, Andro Gin, and Persephone Von Lips, along with DJ sets by DJ Zehno Panda and Gami.

"The thing I am most proud of is the amount of success the performers have had [since] starting at the Corner," Sleeper gushes. "It’s an amazing thing to see, and I’m proud of the people who have accomplished that for themselves."

Clear your calendar and mark every third Sunday of the month for Counter Corner, because if you aren't spending Monday morning scrubbing off glitter and booze, you're doing it all wrong.

Counter Corner. 10 p.m. every third Sunday of the month at the Corner, 1035 N. Miami Ave., Miami; 305-961-7887; Admission is free.
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