Ten years after its original incarnation celebrated women in culture at venues across the city, Ladyfest Philadelphia is returning for another four days of music, arts and activism in summer of 2013. The grassroots festival spun off of the original Ladyfest, which happened in Olympia, Washington, in 2000; that festival, in turn, had its roots in the riot grrrl feminist punk movement of the early 90s. Similar events have popped up in cities from Los Angeles and Chicago to London and Amsterdam. While traditionally offering lots from the punk and DIY music scenes, the Ladyfest movement encompasses a range of genres and disciplines: folk music to hiphop, visual art to spoken word and politics, all produced by women, all with a strong focus in feminism and equal rights – regardless of gender, race or sexual orientation.
Tonight, local concert promoter, writer and DJ Sara Sherr hosts a karaoke party at Tabu in Center City, the first fundraising event for Ladyfest Philadelphia 2013. Sherr is involved in organizing the current Ladyfest, was part of the original local event in 2003 and began writing for local news publications in the 90s when riot grrrl first emerged onto the scene. Also involved is Grace Ambrose, who works heavily with the local independent music and arts scenes, promoting events at venues like South Philly’s Cha-Cha’Razzi.
I talked to Ambrose and Sherr this week about the upcoming Ladyfest, and Ladyfests past; check back to The Key next week to read the full story. In the meantime, the kickoff fundraiser starts tonight at 9, the cover is $5, and you can get more information here. The next Ladyfest organizers meeting is next Tuesday, December 11, in West Philadelphia – email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.