The annual event brings burlesque performers and fans from around the world
June 1, 2020 — Las Vegas – For the protection and safety of the performers, attendees, staff, and the dozens of classic-era burlesque stars who attend the event every year, The Burlesque Hall of Fame has decided to transform its annual in-person BHoF Weekender into a virtual burlesque festival. Typically held at The Orleans Hotel and Casino during the first weekend in June, the event was originally postponed to August 27-30. With the ability to safely hold large public events still uncertain, and travel restrictions preventing access to the large number of international performers and audience members who typically attend, the organization has chosen to go digital for 2020 and return with their event as planned in early June, 2021.
“The BHoF Weekender is the high point of the year for many in the burlesque world,” says the museum’s Executive Director, Dustin M. Wax, “especially for the several dozen who come to perform and compete in our annual Miss Exotic World competition, which turns 30 this year. It’s a vital event for our community as well as for our museum, as the event provides about one-third of the organization’s annual budget. Ultimately, however, we have to be certain we can put on a safe and fun event for everyone, regardless of age, nationality, or any other factor, and with COVID-19 raging, there’s simply no way to be sure we can do that in-person.”
Held annually as a fundraiser for Las Vegas’ Burlesque Hall of Fame (BHoF) museum, the BHoF Weekender brings together performers from around the world to celebrate the art of burlesque. Nightly showcases feature the world’s best burlesque performers, as well as “vintage vixens” — stars of the art’s mid-20th century heyday. Among the showcases is the Miss Exotic World competition, marking its 30th anniversary this year, in which top performers compete for the burlesque world’s highest honor, the title of “Miss Exotic World”. The event also includes classes and workshop, award-winning afterparties, a pool party, a bowling tournament, a poker tournament, and an exhibition hall featuring vendors serving the burlesque community.
The event’s organizers are working on a virtual event to be held in August in honor of the cancelled in-person event. Details on the new show will be available on the BHoF Weekender home page at BHoFWeekend.com as the event develops. Performers accepted into the 2020 Weekender will be given the option to be included in the 2021 Weekender instead. No tickets had been sold for the now-cancelled event; the organizers will be contacting any sponsors or vendors who have made payments to organize refunds.
“Going digital is a major challenge but one that the Weekender Production Team is poised to undertake,” says BHoF Weekender Executive Producer, Joyce Tang. “There is a lot of unexplored potential in the virtual event space, but we have the best producers in the burlesque industry on our team and we are ready to meet this challenge head-on. With planning no longer limited by physical location, the virtual festival will be widely different from our traditional format, and we are excited to share this with our community.”
The Burlesque Hall of Fame is located at 1027 S Main St, #110, Las Vegas, NV 89101. Currently closed due to state restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic, the museum is planning to re-open with new hours (Wed-Sun, 11a-5p) on June 17. Admission $15 ($12 with Nevada ID; $10 for students, military, and seniors). Please visit our website at burlesquehall.com for more information about the museum and its re-opening plans.
The Burlesque Hall of Fame is the world’s only museum dedicated to preserving, celebrating, and inspiring the art of burlesque. BHoF is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.