Burlesque Goes Punk at Second Annual Bang Boom Bash Festival

Punk gets stripped down—literally—at Bang Boom Bash in Long Beach this weekend with acts featuring well-known and upcoming punk bands as well as burlesque. If you’re looking for a good party with music, burlesque and BBQ, this is the place to be. Headliners include Swingin’ Utters, The Dictators, and JFA for music and Kalani Kokonuts and Ms. Redd for burlesque.

Blonde Brunette Production includes Madeline Sinclaire and Audrey DeLuxe. The two dancers met each other at the rockabilly weekend event, Viva Las Vegas, and later became partners in order to produce the second Bang Boom Bash together.

Sinclaire decided to start BBB after bouncing ideas off a friend when wondering what it was she wanted to pursue. Then it hit her. Boobs. Bands. BBQ. She wanted to throw a grand party that had vendors, friends, and cool music that called for a great time. Not only that, but she wanted to mix the two cultures that she loves – punk and burlesque. Unfortunately, a few events that were similar had come and gone over the years.

“We wanted to fill a void, but also create something new,” Sinclaire tells the Weekly.

Punk has typically been a misunderstood concept since its birth. Plenty of stereotypes exist not only in the punk subculture, but especially in the burlesque subculture. To combine them is something practically unheard of. Burlesque is a misunderstood concept that both Sinclaire and DeLuxe have spent over a decade living.

Aside from being a burlesque dancer and a producer, Sinclaire is also a makeup artist and a personal coach for empowerment and confidence. Each occupation she has shares the common ground of confidence. She has a passion for wanting to help women feel powerful and more body positive in a society that’s constantly judging and putting women in boxes. Sinclaire aspired to be psychologist when she was younger and was told she couldn’t do it. That has been her foundation for her passions and has held a punk mentality of doing whatever the hell she’s wanted since then.

“It starts with women and girls deciding and choosing that they don’t have to be who everybody tells them that they have to be,” Sinclaire says.

She produced the first Bang Boom Bash last year at the Mid-City Arthouse in Los Angeles by herself. The one-day event was on a much smaller scale and consisted of her boyfriend’s band,  a friend’s band, one other band, burlesque, and a taco truck.

With experience in producing the first event, Sinclaire knew there were changes to be made for it to be more successful. In order to hold a greater capacity, she and her team of producers decided it would be more appropriate to hold the event elsewhere. That’s when they decided on Seaport Marina Hotel for an all weekend party rather than just one day. Bigger bands, bigger stages, bigger audience. On Friday, the event will be held in one venue and Saturday in two venues. On Sunday, there will be a pool party. No music, just a DJ and drinks – so anyone can kick back and relax. Sinclaire also decided to change it from 21+ to 18+ to be more inclusive.

Some of Sinclaire’s favorite groups are Minor Threat, Fugazi, Swingin' Utters, Black Flag and Ramones. You can imagine she already had some sort of idea of who she wanted to play.

“When I first originally started talking to Audrey about this, I said ‘I want Swingin’ Utters at my show…’ and we got them. So I’m really happy and proud about that,” Sinclaire says.

It was much more difficult for Sinclaire and DeLuxe to find burlesque dancers to place on the lineup. They had to find entertainers who had punk in their repertoire and then solicited those they thought would be a good fit. They opened up a submission process for acts as well in order to have a substantial amount of entertainment for the night. There will be about 14 dancers, including a grinder, hula-hoop artist and pole dancer.

With two unique worlds colliding, Bang Boom Bash is bound to be an entertaining festival.

“There have been a lot of mashups through the years, and I thought 'well, why don't we use punk rock and burlesque? I think it could be a really interesting combination of two scenes creating a whole new scene. and doing something very different in town.”

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