Performers 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.
Participation in the festival is by invitation only.
Each year we invite some old friends to return, and invite some new artists to join us.
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 14 years, so it is incumbent upon you to contact us if you want to perform in the next festival.
Be sure to read all of the following information before you contact us so that you have an understanding of how our festival works, and so that you know what information we need from you in order to consider inviting you to perform at our 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.
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. At the end of the festival, after all the hard expenses have been paid and some money is put aside to cover year-round operating costs, the remaining funds (if any) are divided among all the performers and technicians on a share basis. You are likely to get a token amount of money, but it will be more of an honorarium than a fee. Also, please note that hat-passing is not allowed at the festival. However, you are welcome to bring merchandise to sell. The festival provides a staffed merch booth and does not take any percentage of sales.
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 dates, 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. Please let us know AS SOON AS POSSIBLE if you will need a new work visa to perform at the Moisture Festival.
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 cabaret stars and ribald comedy/varietè acts producing a unique brand of cabaret show that both seduces and delights. For these shows we seek 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 each week’s cabaret shows. Please note that the burlesque shows are only presented in the second or third weeks of the festival.
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 $30. 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 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 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-areial)
- Cabaret shows (non-aerial)
- Aerial acts (both variety and cabaret)
If you are interested in performing in the 2019 Festival, please check this page in November for updated details about how to apply. If you have questions, email to: Info (at) moisturefestival (dot) org.
If you have questions, you can email 2018booking (at) moisturefestival (dot) org. 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!