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The Big Teaser!

23rd September

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Ferri Maya

Tash York

Special Guest Performers
Cherry Velour
Dolores Daiquiri

Desert Diamonds
Fandom Femmes
Minnie Mayhem
Summer Dragonfly
Velma Vouloir
Vincent Prize

The Australian Burlesque Festival presents The Big Teaser!

The Australian Burlesque Festival presents an exciting new show that opens prior to the official launch of the national tour.

Get ready for a sensational night of burlesque and variety as we tickle your senses and launch into ABF 2023.

An all star exciting cast you don’t want to miss.

Come along to our very special event as we celebrate all things burlesque!

Join us as we prepare you for our shows across the country.

A night not to be missed!!!

We acknowledge this event will take place on

Wadawurrung & Dja Dja Wurrung Land.

*Celebrating 14 years in 2023*

Venue Details
Mechanics Institute


117-119 Sturt Street, Ballarat, Central Victoria 3350

Street Parking


Wheelchair Access
The BMI is completely wheelchair accessible with a small inline (approx. 2º) in our main entrance foyer (from Sturt Street), and lift access throughout the building. We have a LH Accessible bathroom on the mezzanine floor (accessible via the lift).

For theatre seated performances we reserve seats for people who use a wheelchair and an accompanying person. If you require an accessible spot for a wheelchair please contact the Venue Manager on 0419 677 713 or via email before booking your ticket, or let us know after you have booked your ticket so that we can ensure you get an accessible seat.

The Minerva Space stage is also wheelchair accessible via a ramp that has an incline of 4º and has tactile indicators on the floor at the end of the incline.

The lift is located on the ground level to the right just past the main stairs. The doors to the lift are 90cm wide, and the lift is 210cm long. The buttons are at a height 1m off the floor and have Braille indicators. The lift is rated for 1000kg. The lift will take you to each of our spaces throughout the building including the Minerva Space, the Humffray Room, and the bathrooms located in the Hugh Williamson Foyer (mezzanine level). Our lift also has a VoiceOver to notify you of which level it is stopping at, and which way the lift is heading (up or down).

The BMI has two accessible bathrooms. One is located near the main bathrooms and is publicly available while there is an event at the BMI. This bathroom is a Left Hand Transfer all-gender bathroom and is large enough to manoeuvre a wheelchair. There are no steps to access this bathroom and is accessible via the lift (go to HW Foyer – button 2).

The second accessible bathroom is located in the artist green room and is only available to artists and crew. This bathroom is also a Left Hand Transfer bathroom and is a similar size to the public bathroom.

We welcome all assistance animals into our building. Unfortunately we do not have any extra accommodations for assistance animals, however if you need assistance please inform a BMI staff member, or a member of the event team.

Quiet Space
The BMI is able to offer the Hugh Williamson Foyer as a quiet space for all events held in our building. It is close to the bathrooms and the room is usually 20-30dB more quiet than the event space (either the Humffray Room or the Minerva Space). We can leave chairs and tables in this space if needed.

Cabaret Tables & Theatre style

Dress Code
Evening or smart casual

Age Restrictions
18+ event. Adult content.

About the Venue
Established in 1859, and independently run, membership to the BMI gives access to our lending library and heritage books and archives, and discounts on events and hire.

All are welcome to visit for tours, cultural events and exhibitions, and to hire our unique function rooms. With the addition of a new finishing kitchen, the BMI is a special venue for holding celebrations, weddings, conferences and performances.

The BMI is also now home to the Max Harris Photography Collection with curated displays to enjoy and prints to buy with all proceeds supporting the ongoing operations of our independently run cultural hub. Come for a visit today!

Ballaarat Mechanics’ Institute (BMI), sitting proudly under the watchful eye of Minerva, has welcomed a diverse group of people through its doors, from the founding fathers, to miners and others seeking knowledge through education.

Since 1859, the BMI has been used for balls, lectures, markets, cinema, library, concerts and cultural events. Following a magnificent restoration in 2013, the BMI continues its significant role in Ballarat’s rich cultural heritage.

Show Policy
*All times subject to change*
*Artist line-up and show content subject to change*
*No photography or recording permitted*

  • ABF prides itself on providing a safe and inclusive space for our performers and patrons. We do not tolerate harassment, bullying, racism, homophobia, sexism or any kind of disrespect towards our artists, crew, venue staff or other patrons.Any patron found to be engaging in the above behaviour’s will be asked to vacate the premises immediately.

    Refund Policy

    Tickets are non-refundable and non-transferable for any reason including but not limited to:
  • change of mind
  • missing part or all of an Australian Burlesque Festival event due to late arrival
  • unable to attend due to medical/personal reasons*

*Refunds will only be considered due to extenuating circumstances related to Covid-19 – specifically where the Australian Federal and/or State Government authorities mandate an official change/upgrade in regulations and restrictions regarding social distancing and/or large event and large group gatherings.