As we draw the curtains on our 2018 festival…

We’re thrilled to announce that the 4th Galway Burlesque Festival will take place from 17th to 19th May 2019!

GBF 2018

Thank you message from Scarlett Nymph & Shir Madness

We booked the dates for our 2018 festival almost a year ago. Long before the referendum on the 8th amendment was called and before we knew that we would be voting for our country to see women as more than second-class citizens, just a week after the festival. In the run up to GBF 2018, we often felt guilty while doing “Come to our event, buy our tickets, hustle, hustle, hustle… etc” when maybe we should have been doing “Vote Yes – here’s why!”

Now, it’s very clear how important it was that as two women we were holding a safe and comfortable space for diverse, but like-minded performers to express themselves and for audiences to experience these performances. On Friday, as everyone arrived for tech, we could see our performers repping #godlessrepealharlot t-shirts and badges, #Repeal sweaters, Yes badges… and it felt wonderful to be with Our People. When the entire venue took to their feet, many with tears in their eyes and the judges declared Miss Memphis Shell’s Repeal the 8th themed performance as the winning performance of the night – any doubts that our festival was the victim of bad timing were assuaged. After months and months of campaigning, each in our own way, there was therapy and healing in being in these spaces together.

Putting together a three day festival involves -if not blood- then definitely sweat and tears. It tests relationships and friendships and it isn’t easy. But, damn, if it isn’t worth every tear and every drop of sweat when you see those incredible performers take to the stage, when you share wine and too much cheese late at night after each event with your best friends, who are also your crew… and afterwards, when you see the photos and read the comments and posts from everyone involved… You forget the pain, stress, exhaustion and any thoughts of “why do we do this to ourselves” and immediately begin to plan the 2019 festival.

Thank you Kerri Katastrophe, for sharing antipasti, letting us vent, keeping us hydrated, working your beautiful ass off as Stage Manager, Photographer and everything else you did this weekend and always.

Thank you Vixyn Von Trix for throwing yourself 100% into everything we ask of you without any complaint – Kerri said it best when she said that you’re a special baby angel and we couldn’t have put it better! Thank you Soup du Jour, for hosting our Rising Stars show and ensuring we had the most comfortable space for newcomer performers, and for your wonderful performances.

Thanks to our Rising Star Judging Panel: Sadie Sinner, Luna TikTok, Lou Safire and Vixyn Von Trix. You had such a difficult job and returned such insightful constructive feedback for each of our acts.

Sadie Sinner – you absolute Goddess – yes, it was incredibly important to have you in that space, in that position and it was so special to hear you talk about representation and diversity. We only wish we’d been able to give you more time. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!

Odds are high that if you have 24 performers, at least one will be a diva or a little difficult. Nope! It was such a pleasure to deal with each and every one!!  You’re such special, magical and talented people.

Thank you to our unofficial home for the weekend – Electric Garden & Theatre and BiteClub. You are “our people” and we loved being there (and the slushies helped too!)

Thank you to the Town Hall Theatre for giving us the most beautiful venue for the Gala Show and for our workshops. Thank you to everyone who came to each of our events and made them such a huge success.

Thank you to the incredibly hard-working and talented Sean McCormack of Sololumo and Aay Kay for capturing the magic of the weekend with your cameras.

Thank you to our closest friend for being a wonderful support network in the tougher times.

And final thanks to each other for being the perfect imperfect partners on this amazing, crazy, exhilarating journey. 

Ireland’s Cultural Heart – You have our Heart.

Scarlett & Shir


  • What a weekend. Emotional, inspiring, welcoming, comforting, exciting, hilarious and still my favourite burlesque festival EVER. I have no idea how Scarlett Nymph and Shir Madness managed to top last year’s festival but they did and it was GLORIOUS. They are the most amazing women and I am so privileged to know them. Thank you both so much for creating this space. It’s like no other.

    Scarlett Van Tassel
  • I’ve just been to my 3rd Galway Burlesque Festival (May 2018), Saturday nights Gala show in the Town Hall Theater, , and it’s just going from strength to strength! So creative, entertaining, powerful, unique, funny, sexy! Showcasing such diversity, culture, talent, physical power and skill, art, design, costumes, music, and everyone is just so like-able and lovely! I do love to give my money and support to such wonderful people who deserve it so much! Every performer puts their heart and soul into their acts, often showing a very personal vulnerable side to themselves with such class and wit.
    For me Saturdays host Sadie Sinner did an amazing job at really highlighting the story and meaning behind the various acts, which made them all the more enjoyable to me, understanding where the artist was coming from. The political/social/cultural topics covered in the show felt especially and increasingly relevant and important to me, while still being simply an entertaining fabulous night!
    Thank you to all the producers, performers, and everyone involved for another impressive performance! xxx

    Dancing Duey
    Audience Member
  • Taking part in the Galway Burlesque Festival provided not only the opportunity to perform in a beautiful theatrical setting, introducing our troupe to a whole new audience; but also the chance to meet and make connections with an incredible array of national and international performers and producers!

    DialEmma (underCURRENT)
  • Just an amazing festival, featuring an incredible variety of talent from all over the world. Super well organised, fabulous acts, fantastic line up. Thanks!! Xx

    Itzel Techni Color
  • Galway Burlesque Festival is the best event of the year.

    Arlene Caffrey/ La Petite Mort
    Performer/ Workshop Instructor
  • I had the pleasure of performing at the first Galway Burlesque Festival and the standard was unreal. Never had I seen so much talent and variety spread across a fun-filled weekend of glitter, rhinestones, pasties and a whole lotta tease! From the glamorous to the weird and wonderful, this festival is one not to be missed!

    Vixyn Von Trix
  • The GBF is an action packed weekend with top Burlesque talent from around the globe. I was lucky enough to perform at the Gala show in 2015, as well as attending some fantastic workshops. The level of talent is unbelievable. It’s definitely one weekend you don’t want to miss!

    Kerri Katastrophe
  • A beautiful showcase of international art, flawless and professional start to finish, was a privilege to have performed here

    Tyler Eros

Our Competition Winners

Congratulations to all the performers who have made each and every festival such a success.

Special mention for those who have won special places in the hearts of the judging panels and taken home The Rising Star of the West titles in 2015, 2017 and 2018, Twisted Star of the West 2015 and the Star of the West in 2015 and 2017!