The trademarking of the term "boylesque" could affect performers like Phil Ingud. Image: Guilherme Zuhlke O'Connor exclusively for This Is Cabaret

The trademarking of the term “boylesque” could affect performers like Phil Ingud, pictured here at Boylexe. Image: Guilherme Zuhlke O’Connor exclusively for This Is Cabaret


The furore over Jacques Patriaque’s choice to trademark the word “boylesque” shows no sign of abating. Lawyers acting on behalf of the co-founder and CEO of the Vienna Boylesque Festival sent a strongly-worded letter to Chaz Royal, the producer of the London Burlesque Festival. If the trademark is legal enforced, it is likely that Royal would have to abandon the London Boylesque Festival he was planning to launch this year.

Royal’s reaction to the legal letter was characteristically bullish. Like the #SaveJojo’s campaign a few months ago,  he created a petition entitled “Terminate Boylesque Trademark” which labels Patriaque as an “upstart producer”. That epithet may have been removed later but it is clear that there is no love lost between the two men.

Patriaque published his own response to the online campaign which bears worth reading in full:

Dear lovers of Burlesque, Boylesque, members of the Community!

As I learned today, it takes just a few seconds and a big misunderstanding to be the victim of a viral attack. Due to the recent accusations regarding my persona published online, I see myself forced to explain myself react within an official statement.

I think I should start at the beginning, leading with the facts:.
I began to plan and organize a Boylesque Festival in Vienna (Austria) in 2013. Having been part of the NYC Boylesque Festival as a performer myself and having been very much amazed by their organization and professionalism, it gave me the courage to go forward with my crazy plan of Europe’s very first „Boylesque Festival“.

I always felt a bit sad that „Boylesque“ to this point wasn’t really as acknowledged and considered to be an equal art form to Burlesque which luckily is gaining more and more recognition every day! So my vision was and still is, to create an event or even string of events, that strives to welcome all sorts of art forms, as well as artists regardless of their gender, as a way of putting the focus on the individual.

The first festival was a humongous success, which came as a big surprise to me. Given that I am a well-known person in Austria, I had my stage name and later also „Boylesque Festival“ as well as the word „Boylesque“ in conjunction to be used with the term „Festival“ trademarked. Given that I have been planning a tour as a producer through Europe with a bunch of other performers since mid-2014.

I would like to stress that it was never my intention to trademark the word „Boylesque“ in order to keep any performer, club (or even producer) from using this word or identifying with it. Nor was, is or will it ever be my intention to monopolize this wonderful art form and community that I call my home!

It was merely a way for me to protect my festival, which I have worked so hard on and I consider my baby.

I consider myself to be a very honest, fair and team spirit kind of person, so I can absolutely understand the point of view of the „London Boylesque Festival“ producer to feel attacked and threatened after receiving a rather aggressive an unpersonal e-mail from a lawyer.

I regret not having been there to approve my lawyer’s message beforehand and I apologize on behalf of my lawyer for making it sound a lot harsher than necessary.

What I don’t really understand is that one would go public and even viral, thus creating a shit storm with a problem right away, rather than confronting the person directly.

But what’s most important :
I explicitly apologize to all my fellow Bur_Boylesquers for this big drama and unnecessary misunderstanding.

I am absolutely aware that I am not the inventor of the word „Boylesque“ nor am I in any place to decide upon the use of it.

People who have worked with or for me in the past couple of years know the kind of person I am and how dedicated I am to the community and even further more how much I’m seeking a respectful, fair and unstigmatized environment for all of us artists and bringing the community closer together.


Yesterday, Patriaque told This Is Cabaret:

“I addressed the London Producer in a personal mail explaining the misunderstanding about the been sent out. I admit totally too aggressive (for a lawyer it seems to be a standard one) mail from my lawyer, which I didn’t approve and I stopped everything immediately. I explained and apologized to him in person and then published a statement to my colleagues out there. So there is no “battle”, no “war” nor any lawsuits to ever be intended on my part.”

If Patriaque’s conciliatory message was designed to calm the stormy waters between himself and Royal, it has failed. Today, the Canadian producer sent out a new message to all on the London Burlesque Festival mailing list, asking them to add their name to the petition. He has also chosen to publish the letter he received from Patriaque’s lawyers.