Man, burlesque festivals are just popping up EVERYWHERE! This weekend marks the inaugural Vermont Burlesque Festival happening in South Burlington. I met the festival’s organizer Cory Royer in Los Angeles when we were down there in early December and he told me then that he’s got a great weekend of entertainment planned. Now, I can see what he meant. He’s got a bunch of fun in store for the Northeast. We’re talking three days and two nights of burlesque, comedy and variety acts: shows, classes, a film festival and BOWLING! How can you go wrong?
While the lion’s share of performers hail from Vermont, there will also be some national performers showing up; namely the lovely Lili Von Schtupp from LA, Cha Cha Velour from Vegas, the Boston Babydolls, Chicago’s boylesque sensation and member of the Stage Door Johnnies: Ray Gunn and Montreal’s Scarlett James.
While chatting on the phone with Cory today, he told me: “I am excited to be working with so many talented local, national and international people who are helping to create Vermont’s first burlesque festival.”
Judging by the schedule, I can see why he’s excited. Things kick off this Friday with the opening ceremonies and Friday night’s showcase at 5 Market Street. Immediately after the showcase will be the “Burlesque Bounce” dance party featuring DJ Irie. Saturday will bring a burlesque brunch, classes, another showcase and the Burlesque Bowling Competition at Shelburne’s Champlain Lanes. Festival attendees will have the whole bowling alley to themselves and are encouraged to dress their team in a theme and compete for the best theme, best costumes, most team shimmies, most outrageous performance in sport, worst dressed team and more. Somehow a bunch of burlesque beauties in a bowling alley sounds like trouble to me.
Sunday is reserved for recovery from the previous two days of pandemonium and a burlesque film festival. A perfect way to wind down and nurse your hangover!
It’s so exciting that burlesque festivals are no longer in major metropolitan areas but in smaller cities like South Burlington. When you see an artistic movement like burlesque spread to far reaches of the country (and world) it goes to show that it isn’t going anywhere. And aren’t we lucky to be ticketing so many of these great festivals?
If you’re in the Vermont area, I can’t recommend the Vermont Burlesque Festival enough. I think it’s safe to say that the Northeast is about to get a little heat wave this winter. Get your tickets here!
Love burlesque festivals? Check out some other great ones that we’re ticketing:
Friday, February 7 to Monday, February 10 I The Great Burlesque Exposition – Boston, Massachusetts Whether this is your first time or you’re a repeat visitor to The Great Burlesque Exposition (GBE), you’re in for a treat! The Expo is an annual gathering of burlesque performers, teachers, aficionados, newcomers and fans! With nightly shows, day time classes, vendors from all parts of the globe, and a variety of special events – there’s something for everyone. The 8th annual exhibition will be bigger and better than ever. The Expo’s shows bring together talent from around the world, with a different focus each night. From the Rhinestone Review featuring famous favorites of today to the Original Newcomer’s Showcase, there’s an opportunity for any experience level. The Main Event is a must-watch pantheon of amazing and polished acts that will dazzle and delight you, even as performers compete for the titles of being the Best at the Great Burlesque Expo. To bring even more opportunity, the wonderful variety performers who spice up our lives will be featured in the Variety Showcase, and for those who can’t get enough – an additional themed party on Friday night. Along with a huge collection of content presented by a legion of performers, teachers and panelists, the Expo provides a great chance for shopping, meeting up with old and new friends, and a collection of events that are special for our community such as the Pool Party, Lunch with the Legends, (new this year!) and a fashion show.
Thursday, March 20 to Sunday, March 23 I Southern Fried Burlesque Fest 2014 – Atlanta, Georgia Syrens of the South Productions have created this festival to support and showcase all facets of the neo-burlesque revival – classic, humorous, conceptual, acrobatic, etc. They’re bringing you the most amazing, creative, and talented group of burlesque vaudeville and variety performers to one place! Not to mention, the most elaborate class & workshop schedule you will ever see for performers, photographers, teachers, and anyone crazy about burlesque as a part of this four day event. The goal is to not only showcase the amazing talents the Southeast has to offer, but to also show the Southeast the amazing talents the rest of the world has to offer. It will be a weekend of burlesque goodness for all! Headliners are Queen of Burlesque, Miss Exotic World 2008 Angie Pontani, King of Burlesque, Mr Exotic World 2013 Ray Gunn and Burlesque Legend Penny Starr Sr and her grandaughter Penny Starr Jr.
Friday, May 23 to Sunday, May 25 I 8th Annual Americana Burlesque & Sideshow Fest – Asheville, North Carolina The Americana Burlesque & Sideshow Festival is now in its eighth year of celebrating the Vaudeville revival here in Asheville. Over 2000 people have revelled in the company of the festival’s suede, satin, and sparkle, the chicken feathered starlets and the fish-eyed zombie boys. Nominated for Best Show in the Mountain Xpress Readers Choice Awards, ABSfest has attracted renowned circus and burlesque artists from across the USA, as well as Scotland, Germany, and Japan. In a world now brimming with burlesque Festivals, from Vegas to Amsterdam, ABSfest is known for embodying the true spirit of Vaudeville and nurturing creativity and empowerment. The festival is one of several annual productions of Future of Tradition, a seminal force in the underground Asheville arts community since 1999. ABSfest has spawned a sister event, the Virginia Burlesque & Sideshow Festival in Richmond, Virginia, now in its second year.
Friday, May 23 to Sunday, May 25 I 2014 Virginia Burlesque & Sideshow Festival – Richmond, Virginia Three days of fabulous entertainment, empowerment & education. This event is proud to be part of the burlesque and vaudeville revival in America. Asheville’s Future of Tradition proudly produces these quality shows for the public, as well as quality learning opportunities for the artists who bring these arts to life. Three days of classes, shows, networking and adventure bring together happy crowds and brilliant artists.