March 14, 2019 - April 7, 2019
Performer Booking Information
Thank you for your interest in Seattle’s Moisture Festival. We are dedicated to presenting the very best in live comedy/varietè, aerial, and cabaret performance. Our festival is organized by performers, for performers, and has become a place to gather, see old friends and meet new ones. Our approach is a unique volunteer-driven festival, and continues to be a work in progress.
Below is a description of how the festival is organized, and what information we are likely to need to consider your act for the 2019 Festival. Please read through this information to familiarize yourself with how the festival works.
If you have performed at the Moisture Festival in the past, please do not assume that you will automatically be invited back. While you might be invited to join us again, you will increase the likelihood of returning if you let us know that you are interested and available. As a volunteer-based festival, we do not have the time or staff to contact all 500+ performers who have graced our stages over the last 15 years, so it is incumbent upon you to contact us by filling out the form below if you want to perform in the next festival.
Please review the information on this page carefully to determine if the festival is a good fit for your act. To be clear, the Moisture Festival is not a music festival, an arts festival, a dance festival, a theater festival, a buskers festival, or a fringe festival. Seattle’s Moisture Festival is a varietè festival. We book acts, which we put together with other acts to create a two-hour variety show, complete with a host and a live show band. Most acts perform for 4 to 8 minutes.
We do not book individuals or groups to do full shows.
Our policy is to only book performers whom the organizers or their associates have personally seen in live performance. However, in the interest of real variety, we save a few slots for performers with whom we are not yet familiar.
Please note that Fire Performance is NOT allowed in any of the festival’s venues.
How the money works
Please don’t approach this as a paid gig or a money making booking because THERE IS NO FINANCIAL GUARANTEE. The Moisture Festival is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, and the festival operates financially as a performers’ cooperative, with each performer receiving one share for each show in which they perform. Some acts may perform once and receive 1 share, while others may perform ten times and thus receive 10 shares. Over the years, the value of each share has varied between $25 to $45. At the end of the festival, after all the hard expenses have been paid and enough money is put aside to cover year-round operating costs, the remaining funds (if any) are divided by the total number of shares to determine the value of each share, and then this money is distributed to all of the performers and technicians on a share basis. Hat-passing is not allowed at the festival. However, you are welcome to bring merchandise to sell. The festival provides a staffed retail booth and does not take any commission.
All festival performers need to be able to work legally in the USA.
If you are not a citizen of the USA, or hold a “Green Card”, or already have a work permit that is valid for the festival, you will need to get a work visa to perform at the Moisture Festival. We can only apply for a very limited number of work visas each year because of the time and expense involved, and there is no guarantee that a visa application will be approved. If you will need a work visa, please email AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. Due to limited funds, we may only be able to secure work visas for one or two artists.
How the shows at the Moisture Festival work:
All shows are in a variety format, with a host, a live show band and eight to 10 acts in every show. Most shows include one or two aerial acts as part of the mix.
The Moisture Festival produces two types of shows: varietè and cabaret. Most of our varietè shows are all-ages, although we also produce some late-night varietè shows that cater to a more adult audience. Our matinees attract more children, but are not “kids shows.”
Our cabaret shows feature a tantalizing mix of burlesque stars and ribald comedy/varietè acts producing a unique brand of cabaret show that both seduces and delights. For these shows we seek experienced burlesque performers and varietè performances with an adult flair. This is also the case for the aerial acts performing in the cabaret shows. While a few performers may perform in both the varietè and cabaret shows, they usually do different acts in the different types of shows.
Most acts perform between four and eight minutes.
Please let us know the length of your act, and whether you can present a shorter act (or a shorter version of that act) in some shows. If your act runs more than 8 minutes, and can not be shortened, please alert us to this fact. For acts that work to music, we encourage them to work with the live band, although it is possible to use recorded music. Every show features a different mix of acts – rarely are two shows the same. Acts may appear anywhere from once to ten times over the month-long course of the festival, and no one performs in every show. Out-of-town acts usually come in for one or two weeks, and perform in some (but not all) shows during their time in Seattle.
All acts need to be able to set up and strike very quickly and in view of the audience while the host talks – there is no “act curtain.”
For the varietè shows, there is generally no tech rehearsal, although we can provide a quick sound check and/or light check if needed – in which case you communicate your needs to the lighting and sound operators ninety minutes before the show. For aerial acts, the rigging must be done two hours before the start of the show. This is a fast-moving festival, so acts that require extensive technical rehearsal are not advised.
Aerial artists are required to carry liability insurance and secure a rider naming Moisture Festival as an additional insured.
The cabaret shows are presented in a formal theater and require every act to be present for a technical rehearsal. There is also a separate tech rehearsal on a non-show day to rig all of the aerial acts for the week’s cabaret shows. Please note that in 2019 the cabaret shows are only presented during the third week of the festival, on March 28, 29, and 30.
All shows take place in venues where there is theatrical lighting, a sound system, technicians, shared dressing rooms, etc, but the theaters are not equipped to handle complicated technical demands, and lighting instruments usually can not be refocused for a specific act.
Ticket prices range from $11 to $36. Food and beer/wine are sold at the theaters during the show. The majority of the shows are all-ages. Exceptions are late night varietè shows and all cabaret shows, which are 18+.
How Transportation and Housing work:
Performers coming from outside of the greater Seattle area will usually get their transportation expenses paid or reimbursed IF ARRANGED IN ADVANCE. If you fly to Seattle, the festival will purchase an economy plane ticket. However, if the festival is one stop on a more complicated itinerary, you may purchase your own ticket and get reimbursed for the Seattle segment if arranged in advance. If you drive to Seattle, we reimburse receipts for direct gas expenses (up to the cost of an economy plane ticket) but do not pay mileage or provide hotel rooms for long drives. Housing in Seattle will be provided in the home of a host unless you wish to arrange your own housing at your own expense.
The Moisture Festival has three different groups of booking coordinators:
- Varietè shows (non-aerial)
- Varietè shows (aerial acts)
- Cabaret shows (all acts, both non-aerial and aerial)
If you would like to perform in the 2019 Moisture Festival, whether you have already been invited or if you wish to apply please fill out the questionnaire at the bottom of this page.
Moisture Festival uses email to communicate with performers, so if you fill out the questionnaire be sure to check your in-box and your spam folder on a regular basis.
You may receive information from several different addresses, since different people coordinate different parts of the festival. If we try to contact you and don’t hear back from yu we can’t book you.
We will try to acknowledge your inquiry in a timely fashion. Please remember that the Moisture Festival is primarily run by volunteers, all of whom have lives outside of the festival, so there may be times when responses take a while. However, if you contact us and don’t hear back for a few weeks, please write again. We are not perfect, the internet is not perfect, and sometimes things get lost. Thank you for your understanding, and thank you for your desire to precipitate!
Please fill out this PERFORMER QUESTIONNAIRE. If you have questions, email: 2019booking (at) moisturefestival (dot) org.