Queer International Burlesque Festival Returns To Pittsburgh

And it runs from July 20 – 23, so get your tickets, stat!



As if burlesque were not already inherently queer (let’s face it, lesbians undress each other as foreplay), an international queer burlesque festival is making it even more transparent.


The FIERCE! International Queer Burlesque Festival returns home to Pittsburgh this July 20 - 23 for its fifth year of celebrating the fusion of queer identity and the art of burlesque. This festival's mascot, Carla, sits atop the Warhol Bridge and waves her hometown Terrible Towel proudly, welcoming performers from across the country! 


The three day extravaganza will bring a bevy of beautiful burlesque and variety performers – both women and men – back to the Steel City. The festival returns to Pittsburgh bi-annually and then travels to cities around the country and Canada every other year.


Founder and Pittsburgh resident, Andrea Varela aka Viva Valezz, explained to PGHLesbian, “Queers have ALWAYS been doing burlesque. The entire burlesque community is growing – that means that there will be more and more queers performing. However, we do have “spin-off” genres of burlesque that are directly related to (and come from) the queer burlesque community… like bearlesque (burlesque performed by bears). You’ll see that drag kings are now getting in on the action too. More and more kings are starting to also do burlesque (or boilesque or queerlesque).”



This festival honors the beauty and strength of the human form, no matter the gender, sexuality, or race of its owner. As an encouraging testament to FIERCE!’s commitment to diversity, this year the number of trans applicants doubled, and the number of applicants more widely also massively increased.


Events will be hosted at various locations around Pittsburgh. For more information and to book tickets, visit the website.  You also have options to donate tickets for others to use, sign up for classes, request a vendor table, and more.


Don’t be such a tease! Book your ticket today. 


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