Mission Statement

For one week each year the Vienna Boylesque Festival will deliver world-class progressive performance art from burlesque artists, drag artists, dancers, and beyond to an international audience in Vienna. Through expression, exploration and discussion it will help forward positive attitudes to bodies, sex, and gender across Austria, Europe, and the World. The Festival is proud to call Vienna it’s home and will work with the city, community organisations and companies to deliver cultural and economic benefits to the region.

For a body, sex and gender positive world.

— Vienna Boylesque Festival


A festival is about bringing together exceptional artists with exceptional audiences in an exchange of ideas to open our minds and enjoy new experiences. Latitude will be given to all performers to explore any concept where the summary of the act can be seen to be criticising oppression, or encouraging positive ideals. As this is very subjective the focus of the Festival may be to provoke discussion of any particular issue and the act may not reflect the opinion of the Festival. Art and culture can be uncomfortable, complex and contentious and the Festival embraces this fact. Everyone is encouraged to experience the Festival for themselves and join the discussion.

The Festival will continue to be a vital part of the landscape of the Vienna arts scene by embracing innovation and being informed by history. It will operate as a responsible, stable and sustainable organisation.

— Vienna Boylesque Festival


The term „boylesque“ will continue to be used in the name of the festival. The Festival understands the privileged place of men in society, but the intention was, and will continue to be, to use it as a point of difference from other festivals, while still clearly and concisely indicating the festival’s purpose to audiences.

“When people step onto the stage, no matter what, they are telling you: I am beautiful.“

— Jacques Patriaque


The Festival recognises that healthy bodies appear in all shapes and colours. The Festival will cast performers each year that positively reflects this diversity.

Celebrate difference.


The Festival recognises everyone’s right to define their own sexuality. Performances at the festival will reflect a preference towards acts that positively reflect oppressed sexual identities. Sex and sexuality will be portrayed positively.

Sex is good.


The Festival recognises everyone’s right to define their own gender. The Festival also recognises the privilege of men and where performers may appear to be all men, heteronormative masculine stereotypes and expectations will be subverted.

Fuck gender.


The Festival will act as a mechanism for cultural exchange. Depictions of cultures will be done so respectfully and artists will be expected to have researched and interrogated their works for appropriateness.

We’re all one human race with infinite cultures to share.

We're all Human

Mistakes get made. Failures happen. As a human endeavour, there may be times when anyone directly or indirectly involved with the Festival missteps. In these cases, all people are expected to behave in a mutually respectful manner and lessons will be learnt where there is opportunity to do so.

“Burlesque pleases all the senses particularly the brain - there is something very smart about it.“

- World Famous *BOB*