As a major fan of all things riot grrrl, female fronted music, and DIY, of course I love reading zines and going to Ladyfest's, so far I've only been to Ladyfest London a few years ago, and I'm planning to go this year as there is a Ladyfest London in November to celebrate ten years of Ladyfests. It's times like these I wish I was a bit closer to london, or at least that the train journey wasn't so expensive as on the lead up to the event they have been doing loads of fundraisers to raise money for the main event including life drawing classes and spoken word evenings.
Not only all this Ladyfest activity happening in London, but I've been finding out about more and more "female fronted" music club nights, band nights etc, but most of them are in London (and sometimes further- Ladyfest Nottingham also happened this year- and they are doing a zombie beauty queen contestevent over Halloween)!
I also like reading zines, I've been reading my friend Sophia's local music zine "Noisy!" for a few years now, I picked up quite a few when I went to Ladyfest London, and this year I've bought two so far, so I haven't indulged myself completely in it as yet but I'm starting to get quite into it!
What makes me sad, is in my town of Southend, Essex, UK, there isn't much of this type of thing. There is no feminist group, no female music clubs/gig nights (apart from my own earlier this year) there's never been a ladyfest (that I know of) and I'm not really sure about how many zines there are, apart from Noisy!
I really want this to change, I really want these things to be here! As apart from the usual gripes people have about their hometown, I quite like where I live. There's a lot of great talent here- music by bands like Trash Monroe, poetry and spoken word from Sundown, and more. The talent is there but there isn't much of my type of "scene" as it were. Sure we have a few good music venues like Chinnerys (who have had some good bands play this year, although not often enough)! and Club Riga, there isn't much in the way of alternative clubs anymore though.
Anyway there is a purpose to my ramble, it's that if I want these things, then for one thing I'm probably not the only one, and secondly what am I going to do about it?!
First of all, I'm setting up a feminist group! Southend Fawcett Society is now registered on UK Feminista and we're having our first meeting in October. All year long I've been trying to arrange this meeting with the people who have joined my facebook group, but it's been so much trouble trying to agree on a mutual date, that finally I decided enough is enough, I'm gonna set the date and then whoever can turn up on the day is great, I'd be waiting forever if I waited for everyone to agree on the same date. So I'm looking forward to getting started with that, and I've already had an email from The Fawcett Society asking if we would like to do something on "Equal Pay Day" so hopefully we will even have an actual event to plan!
Secondly, the Ladyfest thing. I've been having a good think about this, and I really want to make Ladyfest Southend happen. The one thing that mainly worried me is the cost of venues. I've been talking to a few people I know that have done events here, and have discovered that some venues will let you use them free if it's for a charity. I'm planning to do it for a charity that either helps victims of rape or domestic abuse so that's covered. My other friend let me know the good sides and bad sides of various venues (sound, amps etc) so I have to think some more first before I decide what venue to approach, but basically I'm hoping to have some sort of all dayer with all female bands, zine stalls etc, sometime next summer, so I'll keep you posted once I've got a bit more info.
Finally, the smallest thing but not necessarily the least, I really think I want to do my own zine. I've just been looking up a about how to do it, and to do a basic one it doesn't sound too hard, I think the hardest thing will be content, but as most zines don't come out monthly/weekly etc, I think I could do it. I don't want to make it the same as this blog though. Again, will keep you posted on it's progress!
oh and I've tried to get involved in LadyfestTen (the london one) by taking part in Wears The Trouser's zine project (I wrote something about Joan Jett) and I made a postcard sized collage for the Ladyfest Ten postcard project, I just have to send it now!
here's a pic of it- it was based on the theme of "X"