Ladyfest 2011 UK – Go Nottingham, go!

Ladyfest 2011 UK - Go Nottingham, go!

Ladyfest Nottingham 2011 will be taking place on November 19th 2011. The organisers chat about the growth of on/offline feminism, how they’ve made the fest bigger, and what their dream acts would be for Nottingham 2012. Lydia Lunch, get on it!

Book tickets (only £5!) | Facebook | Find out more about Ladyfest Nottingham

We do hope you’ve already heard of Ladyfest (no, not Ladyhawke. Ladyfest.) It’s a volunteer-led music and arts festival for female artists. The first Ladyfest was in hosted in Washington in 2000 and brought together seminal female bands like Sleater-Kinney (who helped inspire and host the event), The Gossip and The Rondelles. Since then it’s evolved into a grass-roots feminist arts movement that’s gone global, like. There’s every chance in the world that, in the coming months, there’ll be a Ladyfest near you.

Ladyfest UK has been doing very well for itself, and we had a little confab with the Ladyfest Nottingham 2011 gals. Their virgin event last year was absolutely lovely – what’s planned for 2011?

Has Ladyfest 2011 got much support from venues and the council and that?

Claire:We’ve received funding from the Co-operative and we hope to confirm more funding shortly (fingers crossed!). Our venues have been extremely generous, with all five of them allowing us to use their space for Ladyfest for free, which has helped us tremendously!

Are you doing the same thing bigger and better this year? Or trying out new stuff?

Natalie: The aim of Ladyfest Nottingham 2011 has stayed the same, to showcase the best in womens’ arts and music. However, this year we’re making it bigger, with five venues and six stages of acts. As well as music, comedy and dance, we are incorporating literature, art, craft fairs and photography – all by female artists.

The last couple of years have seen a surge in online feminism, with new groups sprouting up every minute. Has there been an equal surge in offline feminism, do you think?

Claire: I think the surge in online feminism is because the internet and social media sites have become the fastest way to spread news, opinions and political viewpoints. The rise in online feminism can only be a good thing as it helps to spread the message of female equality.

I work at a University in Nottingham which has a flourishing womens’ student society, which regularly runs film nights, guest speaker sessions, book groups… so that’s evidence to me that offline feminism is alive and kicking!

Any thoughts on why feminism is getting so public and so popular at the moment?

Claire: Without getting too political, I think it’s a difficult time for everyone at the moment – including women – with cuts, job losses etc. Feminism is an expression of breaking down barriers of oppression which runs parallel with the difficulties society as a whole is facing.

Are you picking the same charities to support as last year?

Natalie: No, this year we will be supporting the Nottingham Women’s Centre and Family First Nottingham.

Have you got a transgender presence at Ladyfest this year? We think creatively-inclined transgender gals should get in on the act too!

Claire: Unfortunately, we don’t have any transgender female acts at the moment, but we would love to have them on board. It’s so important to have trans women voices at this event, as it is about all types of female creativity. Please get in touch with us if you’re out there and would like to be involved.

If you could fulfil your wildest dreams for Ladyfest 2012…?

Natalie: I’d be listening to Lydia Lunch at the literature stage and then gracing the comedy stage would be Kathy Burke, without a doubt! Then I would pop over to the bands venue to check out Poly Styrene performing with X Ray Specs. Then, at the aftershow party, a bit of burlesque with Missy Malone. Lastly, at the end of the night, we count up all the dough and find we’ve raised enough cash to help hundreds of people.

Claire: I’d be listening to Ann Bannon on the literature stage reading a little LGBT pulp fiction. Moving onto the comedy stage, I would be watching the amazing Jen Brister and Bethany Black. On the acoustic stage, I’d be listening to Ani DiFranco and Holly Miranda, and then on the bands stage to finish, it would have to be Joan as A Policewoman.

Is there anything we should have asked you but were too selfish to do so?

Natalie: That’s OK, I’ll forgive you, mine’s a Mojito.

Claire: And mine’s a lager!


Confirmed bands include The Smears, Obsessive Compulsive, Hooker and Pussycat and the Dirty Johnsons… with more electric female-led bands joining up every day.

As a tast of the femlae arts on offer, Nottingham Ladyfest 2011 will be celebrating Nottingham pole dancing duo Hell on High Heelz, musical comedy team Hectic Egg and some fierce DJ action from Stiff Kittens (swoon! They’re great – Mooky eds) and DJ Elmo. Ladyfesters can also expect art exhibitions, poetry events and even a craft fair, making Nottingham Ladyfest 2011 pretty much unmissable.


Saturday November 19th. Make a date in your diary!


The Smears will be playing at Ladyfest Nottingham 2011!