Get ready for Ladyfest Bristol 2007! It’s a non-profit festival celebrating the creativity and diversity of women, and you can expect everything from club nights to mad knitting workshops. Make a date in your little black book – 27 August 2007!

Ladyfest Bristol 2007 is a week-long not for profit festival celebrating the creativity and experiences of women. The events take place in venues across the city from Monday 27th August – Sunday 2nd September. The festival seeks to provoke thought and discussion about gender equality through workshops, art and music.

What kind of people get involved?

Ladyfest is all about kick-ass bands, workshops, art and general feminist fun! All sorts of people get involved – other Ladyfests have had classically trained cellists, punky riot grrls, 60’s-inspired clothes designers, gender studies academics, super-cool DJs, zinesters, eco-chicks and a mad puppeteer. Plus a few normal people.

Do Ladyfests have the same vibes as a usual male-dominated festival?

No way, Ladyfests are a lot friendlier. The whole point of the festival is to bring people together in a relaxed and safe place where they can see loads of fantastic women performers while learning some new skills themselves, and it’s all volunteer-run and not-for-profit so that gives it a pretty unique atmosphere too. Workshops run alongside all the music and they’re a great icebreaker – its easy to have a laugh with strangers when you’re all learning how to shake your wobbly bits in a bellydancing session, or finally get round to doing some sewing.

It might not be totally deliberate, but just look at the listings of any summer festival and you’ll be able to count the female performers on one hand. It’s really depressing – there’s so many great female musicians but they seem to be invisible.

What’s gonna be on this year’s Ladyfest?

The programme features live music including Anat Ben David of Chicks on Speed, Rasha Shaheen and The Mentalists, and club nights covering hip-hop to indie music. Female DJ collectives Chicks with Decks, Dutty Girl and club nights Lipstick on Your Collar, Girl Wonder, Wonky, Cherry Bomb and Socialism take over venues across the city, from the Thekla Social in Bristol harbour to Cosies Wine Bar in St Paul’s.

The Here Gallery, the Cube and Café Kino will also be showcasing work throughout the week by artists such as Nicola Dale and Leslie Wilson-Rutterford in a range of styles from fine arts to crafts.

Like previous Ladyfests across the globe, workshops are key to the festival. Feminist theory, women’s history and creative workshops are scheduled alongside the music and arts programme, providing opportunities for learning and discussion.

“We felt that Ladyfest Bristol 2007 should recognise the diversity of what women are involved in across the city” say the organisers. “We hope that there will be something for women, men and kids to enjoy”.

Some people thought riot grrrls and Generation Y feminists would just be a fad but they seem more active today than ever…

The media love to say that gender prejudice is dead and feminism is unfashionable and un-needed, but it seems that an increasing number of women are taking a long hard look at society and seeing that a feminist response is needed more than ever, and – more importantly – they are redefining feminism to make it more meaningful to themselves.

The festival launches on Monday 27th August at The Cube Microplex, featuring a rare live performance from Anat Ben-David of Chicks on Speed with support from Gaptooth, local DJs, film maker Lady Lucy’s skateboarding documentary, ‘Don’t do Tricks’ and a speaker from the Bristol Fawcett Society explaining who will receive all profits made from the festival.

27 August – 2 September 2007