Sheffield’s feminist festival LaDIYfest returns for its second year this November, taking over venues across the city for a weekend of practical activities, discussion workshops, spoken word and live music. Events run from 2nd – 4th November with all funds raised going to local women’s charities.
The weekend begins on Friday 2nd with a free talk by journalist Juliet Jacques on media coverage of transgender people. Juliet is best known for her ‘Transgender Journey’ series for The Guardian which was longlisted for the Orwell Prize in 2011. This event will be at Cafe Harland, held in collaboration with Sheffield’s ‘Off the Shelf’ literary festival.
On Saturday festivalgoers will have the chance to participate in lively workshops and discussions run by local groups and visiting speakers. Workshops will be a mixture of serious and fun, with discussions on abortion rights, street harassment in Sheffield, and mental health, alongside classes on self-confidence, the politics of craft, and LGBT creative writing. All workshops will take place at the Quaker Meeting House, which is fully accessible and will have a children’s space.
Saturday evening will see the city play host to an exciting line-up of bands at Penelope’s, including The Hysterical Injury (Bath), Crash Paris (Bristol), Town Bike (Liverpool), My Therapist Says Hot Damn (London) and Bitchtape (Sheffield/York) with DJ sets until late. LaDIYfest seeks out the best new women-led bands locally and from around the country and the atmosphere at our shows is legendary!
Sunday 4th November will see the weekend rounded off by a relaxed programme of spoken word performance, comedy and acoustic music at Café Harland.
LaDIYfest Sheffield has been organised by a volunteer group of local feminists who decided it was time to bring the global tradition of Ladyfests to Sheffield.
The first Ladyfests date back to the early 90s underground feminist punk movement Riot Grrrl in Washington D.C. Women-fronted bands such as Bikini Kill and Bratmobile challenged the male-dominated punk scene with their feminist lyrics and brash, energetic performances. The Russian punk band Pussy Riot namecheck Riot Grrrl as a major influence.
Last year LaDIYfest raised over £1200 for Sheffield Rape and Sexual Abuse Counselling Service (SRASACS). This year we are supporting two local charities: Survivors of Depression in Transition (SODIT), who provide counselling and drop-in sessions for women who have depression or have experienced mental health problems, and the Young Women’s Housing Project, who provide safe places to live for young women who have been affected by sexual abuse.
There is a suggested donation of £10 for the weekend’s festivities, but people are welcome to pay as much or as little as they can afford. Everyone in the local community is encouraged to get involved in as much or as little as interests them – all are welcome, regardless of age, gender, race, class, disability status or sexual orientation.