If you’ve never attended a Ladyfest, you’re really missing out on modern feminist culture today; the events are always fun, vibrant, creative, passionate, and inspiring. So if you’re in the North East, you’re in for a real treat because Ladyfest Newcastle is on 22nd – 24th September in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. This is the first time there has ever been a Ladyfest in the North East, and it’s promising to be a really exciting weekend.
The organisers state, “The aims of Ladyfest festivals are to showcase the talents of women working in the creative arts, to build a sense of community among female artists/musicians/activists, and create a positive space to discuss new ideas. This is especially important in the North East where women artists and musicians are particularly poorly represented. Like all Ladyfest’s we are pro-women but not anti-men and we welcome male participants in both the organisation, performances and audiences.”
From the Press Release:
Women\x92s music, art and performance will take centre stage in Newcastle in September, with DIY festival Ladyfest Newcastle. Featuring local and national bands, workshops, debates and a craft market, Ladyfest is a weekend-long festival of women\x92s creativity on September 23 and 24.
Mainstream music festivals typically have between 90 and 95% all-male bands* – Ladyfest aims to redress this gender balance. 30 bands are playing at the Carling Academy over the weekend, with workshops and a crafts market taking place simultaneously at nearby venues. The music line-up is 50% national bands, 50% regional bands, and includes up-and-coming local stars Lake Me, Das Wanderlust and Beccy Owen.
As well as showing off the creative talents of women, Ladyfest is featuring workshops to encourage women to try out new skills, including learning how to play drums, DJ, belly dance and self-publish. Other workshops include how to deal with street harassment, Wicca (witchcraft and magic) and a debate on \x91Can feminists enjoy porn?\x92.
Ladyfest Newcastle is a volunteer-run, not for profit event, and this is the first Ladyfest to ever be held in the North East of England. Hundreds of Ladyfests have taken place all over the world since the first ever Ladyfest in Atlanta, USA in 2000. Every Ladyfest is entirely autonomous and volunteer-run, but they all share the same general ethos of promoting women’s creativity and encouraging grass-roots activity.
Milly Shaw, one of the Ladyfest organisers, commented: "The aim of Ladyfest is to redress the gender imbalance of most mainstream festivals. There are loads of fantastic female musicians out there, both in the North East and nationally, and we just want to give them the exposure they deserve. Ladyfest is a music festival, but it\x92s also a general celebration of women\x92s creative talents in other fields, and a chance to learn some new skills and discuss some interesting ideas. Ladyfest Newcastle is pro-women but by no means anti-men, and it\x92s the first one ever be in the North East!"
Ladyfest Newcastle is taking place on Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th September, with a warm-up party on Friday 22nd September. Tickets are £16 for the weekend and £10 for a day ticket. Please see www.ladyfestnewcastle.co.uk for the full line-up and to buy tickets.
* Figures based on Carling Festival, T in the Park, V Festival and Download festival main stages 2006