Burlesque by the Sea has been running burlesque and cabaret shows in Portsmouth for the last 4 years. We have built a successful brand and have been lucky enough to sell out shows with a pool of loyal returning customers. Burlesque by the Seas' founder has also run a successful cleaning business for almost 10 years, so is not shy of hard work and attention to detail.
We pride ourselves on producing inclusive shows and strive to hire performers from all backgrounds. Our shows take our audience members on a journey and we believe this is based on us booking performers from all creative environments. We like to listen to our audience feedback - as they are the people keeping our business alive - and they often state that not only do our shows promote so much body confidence, our crowds appreciate that they can see performers they can relate to, from different cultures, genders, backgrounds and creative genres.
We have suffered greatly in the wake of the Covid crisis, having to move our shows online. Whilst this was successful in the first few months, we found that the impact of online shows has waned and we now want to bring our new business vision to light.
Burlesque by the Sea plan to open a Burlesque bar in a prominent local area. This will be a bar with a difference; our main aim being to provide a safe space for the LGBTQIA community. This is extremely important to us, as not only are our customers a large part of the LGBTQIA community, often voicing the need for a social venue that they would feel 100% comfortable in, but the owners of Burlesque by the Sea are part of the community themselves. We intend to provide inclusive facilities, speed dating events, gallery nights, Burlesque shows, Burlesque classes, body confidence classes, movie themed nights, open mic nights for local artists and we will be totally open for suggestions of other events that will benefit the local community. All of these points are in direct response from audience members and performers, and will contribute to a space much needed for a long time.
We are very lucky to have an established customer base and we receive many emails asking us to run events. Our vision therefore, is to be able to have our own venue, where we can hold nights to benefit our community, bringing our passion of burlesque and cabaret shows to a safe space in the heart of Portsmouth. While we have received great feedback from performers that we offer a safe space in the venues that we currently use, holding our own venue will enable us to provide our performers and audiences with a permanent, secure, relaxed, happy and fun environment, the control of which will be in our own hands.
We would also aim to run charity nights. We have been lucky enough to perform at Cancer is a Drag for the past two years and will continue to support charities, being able to hold in-house events. We have built a great relationship with local businesses and charity workers and we love to support local causes.
We will use the money to secure a commercial property and if needed carry out the renovations and bar inventory and stock in order to make the venue fit for use. We would like to secure six months rent in order to take the pressure of our first few months. We will need to produce marketing and promotional materials (Facebook ads, Mailchimp, promotional photo shoot and video, flyers) and we plan on running smaller events in the meantime to show our new potential customers what they can expect, so there will be a small cost for hiring a venue. We will need to secure licensing if the venue is not fit for purpose and to be able to use the venue for performances/live music and consult a solicitor for local laws, regulations and business insurance. We will need to hire bar/tech/security staff and will also need to book burlesque performers. We will also attend training/health and safety courses. The crowdfunding will also go towards bar stock, redecoration, furnishings and a reliable PA system.
We are very passionate and ambitious and believe that Burlesque by the Sea can grow with the right support and love, taking both our artistic passion and our community's sense of place to the next level.
Thank you for your time - we really hope that you share our dream and help if you can.