Philippa Willitts // 2 November 2011
Following is a press release from LaDIYFest, the first feminist music festival in Sheffield. It will take place on Saturday 12th November and Sunday 13th November at venues across the city, and will include practical workshops, spoken word, films, discussion and a night of live music.
LaDIYfest has been organised by a group of local feminists who decided it was time to bring the global tradition of Ladyfests to Sheffield.
On Saturday afternoon festivalgoers will have the chance to join in with lively workshops and discussions run by local groups, and a relaxed Sunday programme of spoken word performance and acoustic music will round off the weekend.
Workshops will be a mix of serious and fun, with discussions of trans issues, street harassment in Yorkshire, and sexual exploitation taking place alongside classes on bellydancing and kickboxing.
The first Ladyfests date back to the early 90s underground feminist punk movement Riot Grrrl which saw women-fronted bands storming the scene in Washington D.C. Bands such as Bikini Kill and Courtney Love’s band Hole challenged the male-dominated punk scene with their feminist lyrics and wild performances.
Saturday evening will see the city play host to the exciting bands Hooker, Womb, Cover Girl, Executive Legs and Bellies, but it’s not just about the music, with all proceeds going to the very worthy cause of Sheffield Rape and Sexual Abuse Counselling Service (SRASACS).
Fiona, a volunteer at SRASACS said, “we are a specialist women only service offering free, and confidential counselling and helpline support, to empower women and girls who have experienced rape or sexual abuse at any time in their lives.
We run as a collective with only a few paid workers and volunteers working alongside each other. Last year we celebrated our 30th birthday, thank you for supporting us and working towards helping us make it to 60!”
Events will take place at Croft House, the Red House and the Rutland Arms. Everyone in the local community is encouraged to get involved, in the parts of the weekend that interest them. There’s no obligation to come to everything. All are welcome, regardless of age, gender, race, class, disability status or sexuality.
[The image is a drawing of two people each with an arm around the other’s shoulders. Their other arms are raised, one holding a microphone and the other holding a paintbrush and pencil. Above them is “LaDIYFest Sheffield 2011” in type.]