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Music Festivals  
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A six-day women-produced festival, the first Olympia, Washington-based Ladyfest was held in 2000. Some events at the fest were for women only; and while some bands performing had male members, no all-male bands were invited.

No future Ladyfests are planned for Olympia, but spin-off events were held in other locations in 2001: Ladyfest Midwest in Chicago; Ladyfest Scotland in Glasgow; and Ladyfest East in Boston.

The first Ladyfest was a nonprofit event featuring bands popular in the independent music scene--such as Bratmobile, The Need, The Gossip, Cat Power, and the Butchies--as well as spoken word performances, visual art, workshops, panels, and dance parties. On the whole, it is fair to say that Ladyfest attracts a younger crowd than many other festivals, as its performers and organizers are more deeply rooted in independent music and third-wave feminism.

Local and International Women's Music Festivals

Varying considerably in size as well as in the types of performers featured, many local women's music events are held around the United States. Locales include Iowa, Alaska, Hawaii (Hawaiifest), Missouri (St. Louis Women's Music Festival), Texas (which has two festivals, FriendsFest and the Houston Women's Music Festival), New Hampshire, North Carolina (Spring Fling and Starfest), Virginia (CampOut Virginia Women's Music Festival), and West Virginia (Sistah Summerfest).

In addition, some other countries also hold women's music festivals. Among these are Australia's Venus Rising festival in Melbourne and the Sistajive Women's Music Festival in Illawarra; Canada's Southern Ontario Womyn's Drum Camp and the Rock City Women's Fest, both in Ontario, as well as the Woman's Voices Festival in Quebec; and England's Coventry Woman's Festival and Chard Festival of Women in Music.

Teresa Theophano

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arts >> Overview:  Music: Popular

Gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered persons have had tremendous influence on popular music, though some musical genres have been more receptive to a homosexual presence than others.

arts >> Overview:  Music: Women's

Stylistically diverse and continually evolving, women's music has broadened over time, but it remains committed to lesbian visibility and feminist values.

social sciences >> Overview:  Rural Life

Rural life offers both challenges and satisfactions for glbtq people.

arts >> Adam, Margie

A pioneer in the women's music movement, Margie Adam helped create a new political music genre that celebrated lesbian love and the changing lives of women.

arts >> Christian, Meg

Women's music pioneer Meg Christian was among the first performer to address lesbian and feminist issues in her songs.

arts >> Dobkin, Alix

A lifelong progressive activist and a pioneer in women's music, Alix Dobkin not only helped create a new era of women's music in the 1970s but also paved the way for mainstsream lesbian musicians.

arts >> Ferron (Debby Foisy)

Canadian folksinger Ferron (Debby Foisy) is a pioneer in women's music who has been compared to Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen.

arts >> Near, Holly

Activist, singer, and songwriter Holly Near has been a tremendous influence in the formation and promotion of the women's music movement.

arts >> Tyler, Robin

Charismatic performer and activist Robin Tyler has spent much of her life enmeshed in the struggle for gay and lesbian rights, from planning national marches to promoting same-sex marriage.

arts >> Williamson, Cris

Pioneering singer, songwriter, activist, and teacher, Cris Williamson has been at the forefront of the women's music movement--and a major presence in the lesbian community--for decades.


Hogan, Steve, and Hudson, Lee, eds. Completely Queer. New York: Henry Holt & Co., 1998.

Witt, Lynn, Sherry Thomas, and Eric Marcus. Out in All Directions. New York: Warner Books, 1995.


    Citation Information
    Author: Theophano, Teresa  
    Entry Title: Music Festivals  
    General Editor: Claude J. Summers  
    Publication Name: glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,
Transgender, and Queer Culture
    Publication Date: 2002  
    Date Last Updated December 12, 2011  
    Web Address  
    Publisher glbtq, Inc.
1130 West Adams
Chicago, IL   60607
    Today's Date  
    Encyclopedia Copyright: © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  
    Entry Copyright © 2002, glbtq, Inc.  


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