Performer Booking Information
Thank you for your interest in Seattle’s Moisture Festival. We are dedicated to presenting the very best in live comedy/varieté, aerial, and burlesque 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.
The 2023 Moisture Festival will run March 23, 2023 through April 16, 2023. Variety shows will take place March 23 through April 9, plus April 16. Burlesque shows will take place April 13 through April 15.
Vaccinations are not required to participate at this time. We are monitoring the public health situation will continue to follow all CDC, Washington State, King County Health Department, and City of Seattle orders and guidelines related to Covid-19.
If you are interested in performing at Moisture Festival 2023, please review the information on this page carefully to make sure that it is something that you would like to participate in, and that 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 varieté 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.
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.
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 acts using live animals, or acts involving Fire Performance are NOT allowed.
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 $50. 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. Moisture Festival is unable to sponsor work visas for the 2023 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: comedy/varieté and burlesque. Most of our comedy/varieté shows are all-ages, although we also produce some late-night varieté shows that cater to a more adult audience. Our matinees attract more children, but are not “kids shows.”
Our burlesque shows feature a tantalizing mix of burlesque stars and ribald comedy/varieté acts producing a unique brand of cabaret show that both seduces and delights. For these shows we seek experienced burlesque performers and varieté performances with an adult flair. This is also the case for the aerial acts performing in the burlesque shows. While a few performers may perform in both the varieté and burlesque 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. The majority of the shows are all-ages. Exceptions are late night varieté shows and all burlesque shows, which are 18+.
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 varieté 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 burlesque shows (Libertease Cabaret) are presented at Broadway Performance Hall 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 burlesque shows.
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.
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:
- Varieté shows (non-aerial)
- Varieté shows (aerial acts)
- Burlesque shows, presented at Broadway Performance Hall as Libertease Cabaret (all acts, both non-aerial and aerial)
Moisture Festival uses email to communicate with performers. You can contact us about performing in a future festival by emailing booking at moisture festival dot org. 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!