The Americana Burlesque & Sideshow Festival IS and has ALWAYS been totally committed to the empowerment of our tribe and the elevation of our audiences. We strive to make our little corner of the burlesque community a courageous and supportive place for artists of every gender, shape, color, and orientation to be heard, seen and respected, onstage and off. We continue to use our platforms in stage and classroom to raise awareness, and to challenge the status quo’s power structure, beauty ideals, and social injustices. To that end, we have long paired with social justice groups such as our local women’s advocacy group Our Voice, the West Carolina Aids Project and the ACLU. We have also made the deliberate, sometimes very unpopular, choice to exclude known predators from our productions. It was and continues to be the right thing for us to do. Using art, skill, wit and humor, we strive to dismantle what is worst in society while uplifting what is best. This festival has, and will continue to, hold these values. Feel free to reach out to us with your ideas for how ABSfest, and the broader burlesque community, can better serve our artists and the world.

About the event overall…
Five thousand people have reveled in the company of our suede, satin, and sparkle, our chicken feathered starlets and our 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. We promise fashion, contortion, trapeze, and tease!

In a world now brimming with Burlesque Festivals, from Vegas to Amsterdam, ABSfest is known for embodying the true spirit of Vaudeville, offering driven artists a relaxed environment to network, and for a community that nurtures raw, boundary-pushing, creativity. The festival is one of several annual productions of Future of Tradition, a seminal force in the underground Asheville arts community since 1999. In addition to all that, Executive Producer Lauren ‘Onça’ O’Leary tours internationally teaching and performing dance, music, and stagecraft.