A personal message from the Producers of the Perth International Burlesque Festival:
To our dearest PIBF supporters and followers,
After much deliberation, the Producers of the Perth International Burlesque Festival would like to officially announce that we will be ON PAUSE for 2017. Don’t panic - it’s not goodbye! It’s a breather.
Well, creating PIBF involves many many countless hours in preparation, blood, sweat, tears, angst and administration that come with producing a festival, or any event of this size. For us, PIBF is full time job for the majority of each year, and is exponentially more than that in the lead up and for the duration of the festival. As anyone involved in event production will understand first-hand, it's a rollercoaster of learning curves, high stress, proud moments and elation. Most of those moments are unpaid.
We’re now 5 years in, and the hard work has been immensely rewarding in so many heart-warming ways. Although the emotional, energetic and time costs of festival life are enormous, we feel so blessed to always be supported and reinvigorated by our community. PIBF is a continuously inspiring journey, and has year after year been an overwhelming joy to create and share with Perth’s burlesque scene and its touring artists. We are so fortunate to be able to contribute to a chapter in the tremendous evolution and expansion of the city’s performance community - it’s an exciting, magical time and a privilege to be a part of this era, and we’re so proud of the festival every year.
Nonetheless, it’s time to take a moment to consider the reality of Perth and the state’s economy, and its creative industries. Let’s be real. A wonderfully evolving arts industry comes too with an excess of competing events, and competition is what it is. At a social, political and economic and time when audience members are feeling the strain on their wallets as much as in in their lives, there is simultaneously so much more to engage in, watch and do. For all of us, it’s as stimulating as it is frustrating and limiting. It’s a risk every producer feels, and more so now than in any time recently. For PIBF, just between us and the internet, the coinciding Dita Von Teese tour and the currently heaving Perth burlesque calendar impacted sales of our own festival events in 2016 - and as a largely self-funded festival, it’s something the festival can’t pick up the slack for financially. For us, as for the festival, it’s time to take stock and recoup, and to allow the industry to breath. It’s a moment also for the industry to think of itself collectively, and considerately - and we’re part of that.
Without a doubt, the commitment to this community by its members impresses us continuously. To exist at all, PIBF requires behind-the-scenes contributions and efforts of hundreds of dedicated individuals each year, in the form of our event support staff, volunteers, performers, MCs and musicians, venue staff, technical staff, affiliate festivals and event operators, sponsors, suppliers, caterers, graphic designers… the list goes on. We’re so thankful for each and every one of you! So before we commence our long service leave to dance and change nappies respectively, we would like to extend a tremendous Thank You to our entire 2016 crew who helped to make it all happen - we absolutely couldn’t have done it without you, and we mean that sincerely. You go above and beyond the call of glitter or feathers, and you are a huge part of what makes PIBF such a memorable experience for everyone involved. In particular, much respect and everlasting love to our kick-ass event support crew for 2016: Monet Petite, The Sugar Duchess, Ivana B Serious, Agatha Frisky, Amanda Kemp, Liv Baker and Katherine Godfrey - you wonderfully talented beings, you complete us.
Thank you also to all who have supported the festival and the burly community by coming to our shows and events for the past 5 years. For those in the arts, this is our livelihood, our community, and our way of expressing what’s important to us. Keep supporting the arts with your presence, your laughter, and your voracious applause.
Lastly, this decision also comes with a timely and valuable opportunity to tend to our own personal lives (yes we have them!). We are very much looking forward to spending some time with other areas of interest: touring and travel, our own artistic outlets, baby Amelie, our friends, partners and loved ones, our homes and/or tents, health, and sleep. We’d also like to take the time to extend this invitation out to all of you: take care of yourselves. And take care of your art (whatever that might be), your inspiration, and the people who make it what it is to you. Don’t be afraid to take a breather, and recalibrate. Be honest, be respectful, and be bold.
Whether this pause will bring a change in the festival format or its inspiration for the future is for the next year to decide. The story will unfold as it should. You will still hear from us over the year, with updates from the PIBF 2016 Convention and the like (including hearing from our 2016 Delegates, who have so much to say!), and with news on collaborations and our extended Australian network. So, stay tuned and stay in touch.
However we find you when we resurface, we hope this next year brings you everything you need for the journey. Take to the road with the top down and your glad rags on.
Much love, glitter and happiness,
Coco Poppin & A’dora Derriere
Perth International Burlesque Festival