Bristol gears up for girl power Ladyfest weekend
Girl power is set to take over the city this weekend, as Bristol hosts the third annual Ladyfest.
A celebration of the creative work of women, the event will see scores of female artists, film directors and performers showcase their talents.
From belly-laugh comedians to hard-hitting documentary-makers, women will take centre stage at The Fleece and venues across Stokes Croft.
Bristol Ladyfest aims to empower women, as well as raise money for feminist-led charities. Organisers note that as of 2010, only 14% of the members of the Performing Right Society (PRS) for Music were female, and during the 2010 BBC Proms, only 4.1% of the works performed were composed by women.
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The Mercury Prize has only been awarded to a woman six times in the 19 years that it has been running, with PJ Harvey winning twice. And 71% of performances at Glastonbury in 2010 were by all-male acts, outnumbering female performances 6:1.
Organisers drew their inspiration from the first ever Ladyfest, held in Olympia in 2000. The event attracted more than 2,000 people, and featured high profile music acts including Sleater-Kinney, Cat Power and Gossip.
The Bristol Feminist Network has been involved with Ladyfest since 2003.
“There was an uprising in Bristol where bands formed collectives, it was an extension of that,” explained Bristol Ladyfest organiser Tiffany Daniels.
“I work in the music industry, and when you look at big festivals, women are severely lacking from the line-up, it’s really not great.
“Even local festivals – they put women on but few of them headline. There’s an inconsistency, and people tend to overlook it because many bands have a female bassist or drummer. But still, they’re not the driving force or the lead vocalist.
“We want to show that you can be a woman and make music that is headline-worthy”.
She and fellow organiser Emma Thompson hope the festival will enable female artists to promote their work, as well as introduce the public to them. It costs around £3,500 to host, and the money is pulled together through fundraising events which started in January.
The event will also raise money for charities Bristol Rape Crisis; Womankind, which helps victims of domestic abuse; One25 and The Well, which both help women in the sex industry.
Any profits made by Bristol Ladyfest will be distributed among them. The team hopes to raise around £4,000.
The festival runs from Saturday July 7 to Sunday 8, and is kicked off by a gig at The Bristol County Sports Club, which has changed its name to The Hawaiian Bar.
Annette Berlin, Bellies!, Crash Paris, Gaptooth and I Am Horse will be performing at the bar, at 40 Colston Street.
On Saturday The Fleece will host 11 musical performances, including Drunken Butterfly, Hysterical Injury, Mary Epworth and punk legend Rita Lynch. Festivities kick off at 2pm. Check out the full line-up here.
The following day festival-goers can head to venues across Stokes Croft to take in animation films, a female genital mutilation drama-documentary and a Designer Vagina workshop, as well as learn how to flower arrange and make matchbox cameras.
Revellers should head to Hamilton House where they will be given maps and directed to the events of their choice. The first workshop kicks off at 10am.
The evening promises to be filled with laughs, as female comedians take to the stage for What The Frock at The Lanes, Nelson Street.
Tickets are on sale through DrunkenWerewolf, The Here Shop and Bristol Ticket Shop.
Weekend tickets cost £25, and give full access to all the events. Day tickets cost £15, and will enable revellers to see all the events held that day.
The Friday gig is not included in either ticket price, and entrance will be permitted on a first-come-first-served basis. All profits will be donated to the four Ladyfest charities.
Organisers say around 100 tickets for the festival have been sold so far.
For more information, visit Bristol Ladyfest.