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Lebanon bar owner: Drag show to continue despite community pushback

Lebanon bar owner getting nasty messages for hosting drag concert

LEBANON, Ind. (WISH) — A Lebanon bar owner has been getting harassing messages for several months after she began hosting drag shows at her bar.

Danielle Hoffman owns Echo Room, a bar in downtown Lebanon.

A Facebook group calling itself the Boone County Cockroaches made a flyer depicting Hoffman and her husband. Hoffman said she filed a “no contact” order against the group.

“It did make me nervous once I saw those flyers with our faces on them, and asking people to confront us. I am running errands all day everyday throughout town, and it made me nervous if I’m at Wal-Mart or Menards and someone is going to come up and berate me in front of everybody.”

Members of the group are calling on each other to show up to protest at Hoffman’s bar on Oct. 21, when the next drag show takes place. They equate it to a strip show that targets children.

“Drag shows are literally just men dressing up like women,” Hoffman said. “It’s a costume, like a Halloween party. They are dancing around singing songs, lip synching songs, that is it. That is all they’re doing.”

No one under the age of 21 is allowed into Echo Room, and there is no nudity.

Hoffman started hosting drag shows during fall 2022, and many of them were sold out.

“Drag shows are a form of entertainment, just like a death metal show is,” Hoffman said. “I’m not going to a death metal show, but I’m not offended if you do.”

Hoffman also owns two restaurants in town. She’s committed to making Lebanon a place where people can entertain themselves without having to go to Indianapolis.

“If I’m not the one who is going to bring drag to town, someone is eventually,” Hoffman said. “This town is exploding right now. Eli Lilly is coming to town, we have this new sports complex. They’re building 500, 1,000 houses per year here. This is happening whether I do it or not.”

Lebanon Police say no charges will be filed against any members of the Facebook group because their comments toward Hoffman don’t rise to the level of breaking the law.