The Hebden Bridge Burlesque Festival has defied opposition and obstacles and steadily grown from a low key two day event to one of Europe’s biggest burlesque festivals. The festival is the brainchild of two Yorkshire women – Heidi Bang Tidy and Lady Wildflower – who launched the event in 2013 as a celebration of diversity which brings together performers of different ethnicities, genders, orientation, sizes and ages.
“Today’s burlesque audiences can enjoy top quality live entertainment where showgirls perform alongside fire acts, aerialists alongside mime artists, and comedians alongside contortionists,” says Heidi. “We’re really passionate about burlesque and we want the festival to celebrate the heydays of vintage glamour as well as showcasing some of the hottest alternative cabaret acts on the scene.”
Last year 800 tickets were sold for the three day event, and this year’s festival looks set to break their record with over 700 weekend tickets already sold more than a month in advance and several shows now sold out with just over two weeks to go.
The 2015 Hebden Bridge Burlesque Festival has attracted some of the biggest stars from the world of alternative cabaret, including award-winning compere Lili La Scala, iconic London-based burlesque star Vicky Butterfly, and multiple Burlesque Hall of Fame award winner and vaudeville heavyweight Russell Bruner who will be flying in from the USA.
Festival goers will enjoy eight live events in five venues across three towns, featuring over forty performers. Visitors can also sign up for a series of workshops that will take place throughout the weekend, including Burlesque for Beginners, Fan Dancing, Hooping, and Vintage Hair Styling.
In addition, renowned burlesque photographer Neil Kendall will be exhibiting a selection of prints from his collection at Heart Gallery in Hebden Bridge, and he will also display a small selection of pieces from his Striptease Museum, which include memorabilia, costume pieces and images documenting the history of burlesque.
The Hebden Bridge Burlesque Festival 2015 runs from Thursday 30th April to Sunday 3rd May. 21st Century Burlesque Magazine editor Holli-Mae Johnson will attend this year’s festivities and report back on the shows, strips and socials. If you want to see it for yourself, visit the link below.