Ladyfest New Orleans
is a non-profit music, spoken word and arts festival organized by local women of all identities to showcase, celebrate and encourage the music, poetry, film, art and activism of women in New Orleans and to benefit local organizations that support women. We are committed to inspiring self-empowerment and we welcome and encourage all people who support the education, advancement, and celebration of women to attend the festival. We feel that providing a venue for women artists counters the obstacles and discrimination that women often face, including sexism, homophobia and racism. Our intended objective is the creation of an annual festival where women can perform with other women (and men) in a safe, dominantly female-friendly, non corporate environment. Ladyfest is open and inviting to both men and women, of all ages and backgrounds.
HERSTORY . . .
The first Ladyfest took place on August 2000 in Olympia, Washington. It followed the Olympian tradition of festivals where people gathered together to share ideas and talent, and abilities. It was held as a non-profit, community-based event designed by and for women to showcase, celebrate and encourage the artistic, organizational and political work and talents of women. It featured performances by bands, spoken word artists, authors, visual artists and more. It included workshops, panels, and dance parties. It was true to its word, as it was a woman-run event but all were welcome to attend.
Bands with guys are invited to play, as long as there is either a female front person, or a strong focus on the female musicians involved. All in all, the first Ladyfest was a huge success and proved to be one of most important feminist collaborations ever. Something the inspiring riot girls had only dreamed of just years earlier. Though Ladyfest was never held again in Olympia, its organizers and supporters encouraged women to start Ladyfests everywhere, and that’s exactly what they did.
About the Ladyfest Phenomenon
Please note that the different ladyfests are not related (except in spirit!). If you want to get involved with any of these events please contact the organizers in that city.
Ladyfest is a community-based, not-for-profit global music and arts festival for female artists that features bands, musical groups, performance artists, authors, spoken word and visual artists, films, lectures, art exhibitions and workshops; it is organized by volunteers.
The first ever Ladyfest was conducted in Olympia, Washington in August 2000 with over 2000 people attending. Prime motivators in the event were Sarah Dougher, Sleater-Kinney, and Teresa Carmody.
Since the first Ladyfest, the event has branched out into other urban centres. Each new festival is organized locally and independently of other Ladyfest events in other states or countries, primarily by volunteers, and most proceeds are donated to non-profit organizations.