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  Ladyfest London 2002

Home > Mission


The background ...

When the ladies of Olympia, WA held the first Ladyfest in the Summer of 2000, their mission was to celebrate the talents of female artists, musicians and activists. It was also their hope that women would take the message of the event and spread it in their own towns, cities and countries by organising their own events. Looking at the number of Ladyfests that have taken place since, it's fair to say they've succeeded, and we are proud to be following in Ladyfest's tradition of volunteer-run, democratic and not-for-profit organising. It is our goal both to uphold the DIY feminist spirit of Ladyfest and to build on the success of the first British Ladyfest held in Glasgow, Scotland last summer.


The mission ...

Our mission is to bring a brilliant and diverse, exciting and provoking, inspiring and empowering festival to London. We want to showcase the exuberance and sophistication of female musicians, not just in rock but in electronic genres, and to give them the opportunity to play to newcomers as well as old fans. We want to bring women working in different areas - performance art, spoken and written word, cabaret - to the festival setting and take their forms of expression to fresh audiences. But it's not just the women striving to be artists and performers who find themselves actually and symbolically excluded in our culture, it's the women in the audience too. We want to hold a festival where women are actively encouraged to attend and take part and one where they can do so without fear of the harassment and worse that can take place at more mainstream festivals (witness the rapes at Woodstock 1999 and Reading 2001). Through workshops and discussions we want to give those who come to Ladyfest London the chance to speak, to learn and to share. We want them to be able to discuss the issues relevant to their lives while learning about the lives of others. We want to break down the barriers that alienate women from their creativity by holding workshops on writing, composing and performance, and to demystify the technology of creativity through workshops on DJing and the web. We will also share our experiences of organising Ladyfest London because we want to see more events like it in the future. Finally, we want to celebrate the women whose courage and hard work have made events like Ladyfest part of our lives, to cherish the achievements of women today and inspire the next generation of feminist heroines.

Though Ladyfest London is limited in terms of the actual numbers who will be able to attend the festival, the publicity and interest it attracts will spread our message far beyond the confines of the venues. By holding such a public event, we will not only draw attention to some amazing bands and artists, some of whom have never been to the UK before, but we will highlight the fact that at the mainstream music festivals female performers still make up only 10-15% of the acts. Through Ladyfest London we are aiming to build a sense of community among female artists, activists and audiences. With supportive networks we can create the culture we want and find the strength to fight oppression, not only our own, but that of those around us.

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