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Monday, May 26, 2014

American Burlesque and Sideshow Festival


This past weekend was the American Burlesque and Sideshow festival in Asheville, NC, which sadly, I was unable to attend.  I was however able to attend back in 2010.

I had looked before hand and found that photography was expressly forbidden.  This of course made me very sad and grumpy, as I really hate being told I cannot take pictures.  I did notice however, that there was a form where you could apply for a press pass.  I figured the worst that could happen is I could be told "no".  I e-mailed Onca O'Leary, the event planner and local belly dance legend.....


I basically explained that I enjoyed photographing southern oddities and sent her a link to my Flickr page.  Much to my surprise this was enough to grant me a press pass and a ticket to the inaugural event.  Being given carte blanche to take photographs in a restricted area gave me a wonderful feeling.  (On an unrelated note, the inaugural event took place in a local gay bar).


Being an official member of "the press" I arrived and was stationed at the red carpet to photograph the performers as they arrived.










This included festival headliner and "America's Got Talent" contestant Michelle L'Amour....


After my first paparazzi gig I head in to take in the show.  The venue had cigarette girls, but instead of cigarettes they were handing out candy and er....condoms.



The show was hosted by magician Sneaky McFly......


Sneaky would entertain the crowd by cutting off his own finger with a knife........


The show had an extremely eclectic lineup.....we had marionettes......




Music.....


Burlesque.......




A human marionette pole dance...........



There was also some traditional sideshow "working acts" such as sword swallowing.....


And "The Human Blockhead" where a man nails a metal spike into his own skull.........


Possibly most remarkable was a belly dancer by the name of "Mavi of DC".  Just look..........







Quite an experience to say the least.


The Carpetbagger

Please feel free to email me at jacobthecarpetbagger@gmail.com
And don't forget to check out my Flickr Photostream and my Youtube Page

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