Grrl Fest prepares for third year

March 13, 2015

Grrl Fest is an independent multi-platform music and arts event, celebrating and empowering women-identified artists. This year, the Melbourne event will be celebrating its third year.

Grrl Fest will be held on March 21 at the Northcote Town Hall.

There will be an outdoor venue, markets, music, workshops, cocktails and cabaret. The venue is a change up from the dusty warehouse beginnings of Grrl Fest.

GF would like to acknowledge that this event happens on stolen land. We wish to acknowledge the elders past and present, and pay our respects to the Woiworung and Boonwurrung people of the Kulin Nation, on who’s land Melbourne is situated. Always was, always will be, Aboriginal Land.

The idea behind Grrl Fest draws upon the riot-grrl inspired movement of the 1990’s that started as Ladyfest — “a community-based, not-for-profit global music and arts festival for feminist and women artists”.

Grrl Fest wants to carry on this tradition, but also bring it into the great intersectional feminist future! Grrl Fest humbly acknowleges the great women of the past who have done the ground work for events such as this.

But we also wish to acknowledge how “female only” and feminist spaces have historically excluded trans-women, women of colour and women not from the middle classes. We cannot re-write history, but our actions and attitudes can shape the future and hopefully continue the healing, and invigorate The Revolution.

Which is why Grrl Fest strives at every turn to create a safe and encouraging space for anyone who wishes to access it. This is regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation, class, ability, age, work choice etc.

Mariam Benjemaa, from Diploid who are performing at Grrl Fest, said: “I personally feel very passionate about organisations and ideas such as Grrl Fest. Often at gigs and shows I will be the only female that even gets on the stage, almost everyone is male.

“Male sound guys, male band mates, male pub owners, all male bands that will be playing to an almost all male crowd, it's frustrating. It's so easy to feel left out or discouraged, especially when people will mistake you for ‘just the bands girlfriend’ or something.

“Productions like Grrl Fest or labels such as One Brick Today aim to challenge these shitty boundaries on women and queer folk that are usually set by straight cis-gendered men, and I'm honoured to be a part of it all!”

[Abridged from Grrlfest.com. For the lineup of performers visit grrlfest.com/category/lineup.]

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