The ABC Guide to Burlesque Festivals 2015: Europe

Our festival guide is back once more, this time with a whirlwind guide to some of Europe’s burlesque festivals taking place in 2015 and 2016.

The Polish Burlesque Festival
Dates: 11-13 September 2015
Location: Warsaw, Poland
Years running: first year
Organisers: Betty Q
About: In its first year this year, applications are currently open for this festival, with a closing date in May. Confirmed headliners include Vicky Butterfly and in addition to shows, there will also be workshops on offer.

Polish Burlesque Fest

Berlin Burlesque Festival
Dates: 17-20 September 2015
Location: Berlin, Germany
Years running: 3
Organisers: Else Edelstahl & Marlene Von Steenvag
About: Now in its third year, the Berlin Burlesque Festival has brought together world-class performers since its inception. Previous stars of the festival include Burlesque Hall of Fame 2013 Queen LouLou D’Vil, Lada Redstar, Anna the Hulagan , Domino Barbeau and Diva Hollywood among many others. Details of this year’s line-up and program have still to be released, but in previous years there have been several shows as well as workshops in performance and costuming, so stay tuned for more info.

The Stockholm Burlesque Festival
Dates: 2-3 October 2015
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Years running: 5
Organisers: Bichard Studios (founder: Duchess Dubois & The Amazing Knicker Kittens)
About: Considered one of Europe’s most prestigious burlesque festivals, the Stockholm Burlesque Festivals returns for a 5th year this autumn. Applications for this year’s festival close mid-May. Past headliners have included LouLou D’Vil, World Famous *BOB*, Trixie Little and more.

Caput Mundi International Burlesque Award
Dates: 6-8 November 2015
Location: Rome, Italy
Years running: 3
Organiser: Albadoro Gala
About: Details of this year’s events have still to be released, but applications are currently open. It looks like there will be workshops as well as shows / competitions, keep an eye on their website for more info.

Caput Mundi

The International Amsterdam Burlesque Award
Dates: 19-22 November 2015
Location: Amsterdam, Holland
Years running: 2
Organiser: Boudoir Noir
About: Now in its second year, the Amsterdam Burlesque Award offers a series of competitions for performers to win the titles of Amsterdam’s King of Boylesque / Queen of Neo Burlesque / Queen of Classic Burlesque as well as a matinee showcase event on the final day. They also offer workshops, details to be announced.

Geneva Burlesque Festival
Dates: 2016 – TBC
Location: Geneva, Switzerland
Years running: 1
Organisers: Lilly Bulle & Marge Von Bla Bla
About: The First Geneva Burlesque Festival took place in January of this year and following a successful launch, the event promises to return in 2016, with dates still to be confirmed. Stars this year included Lada Redstar and Valentina de Pearls and events included workshops and competitions for both newcomers and established performers.

Geneva Burlesque Fest

Helsinki Burlesque Festival
Dates: 2016 – TBC
Location: Helsinki, Finland
Years running: 8
Organisers: Bettie Blackheart
About: One of Europe’s most esteemed festivals, the HBF is by invite-only and showcases some of the top international performers from around the world. This year’s headliners included Amber Ray, Shannon Doah, Ray Gunn, Darlinda Just Darlinda and Missy Malone. The festival includes both shows and workshops. Dates for 2016 have yet to be announced but generally takes place in February.

Munich Burlesque Festival
Dates: 2016 – TBC
Location: Munich, Germany
Years running: 4
Organisers: Dixie Dynamite & Munich School of Burlesque
About: Established in 2012, the Munich Burlesque Festival has grown to become Germany’s biggest burlesque festival, this year holding four days of shows and competitions as well as workshops and a vintage fair in March. We’re awaiting details of next year’s event, but hopefully they will return in 2016.


If you missed last week’s blog, check it out: The ABC Guide to UK Burlesque Festivals.
If you’re new to burlesque and thinking about applying to your first big festival, have a look at our other recent blog, The ABC Guide to Burlesque Festival Applications.