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LADYFEST: A HERSTORY
published 20.04.2004


Ladyfest is rooted in the Riot Grrrl movement of the early 90s. Riot Grrrls have been noted for altering the focus of women in music—by setting themselves apart from the prevalence of bustier-wearing, hip-undulating pop tarts. All-girl bands such as Bikini Kill and Bratmobile boldly addressed issues of sexuality, sexism, oppression, and abuse, and challenged gender roles that permeated the mainstream. In the process, a fierce, feminist underground community developed that helped define the third wave of feminism. Since the Grrrls didn’t want to be belittled to Girlies, and were fed up just beeing the guitarists best friend but not the guitarist herself, they adopted the label “Lady”.
The first Ladyfest ever took place in Olympia, Washington, 2000, where a group of women got together to commemorate the Riot Grrrl Movement. They organized a week-long festival bringing together music, art, performance and workshops. Approximately 2,000 people gathered from all over the world to enjoy and participate in this multi-disciplinary festival, which raised over $30, 000 for community-based women’s organizations.
Since then, Ladyfests have blossomed into a worldwide phenomena, spanning four continents, whereas each Ladyfest is unique to the volunteers who organize and the reflecting characteristics of the local community.
Ladyfest Vienna is a non-profit, feminist, community-based festival, organized by a variety of women/lesbians/transgender and scheduled for June 10-13, 2004. This participatory festival offers workshops, performances by bands, film screenings as well as art exhibitions and is based on the Do It Yourself (DIY) – spirit. Our main goals are to empower girls and women of all ages, to expose general public to the diverse skills of little-known female musicians and artists, to build a network among Ladyfest artists, organizers and participants and last but not least we’d like to carve independent spaces to show our work on our terms, outside the confines of normatively-defined and approved self-expression.
We try to keep the costs of the events and the festival tickets as low as possible, so everybody interested can afford to participate in the Ladyfest. All genders are welcome!


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