Finally after spending what seems to be forever, Ladyfest Essex is over and done with!
There was several logistic issues that I won't go into depth about that made the last week even more stressful but we got there in the end, I won't write a full on review as I was too busy trying to get everything to run smoothly but I will give some sort of report as to how it went!
I arrived at the venue at about 12.45pm and met one of my volunteers- Christine. We got ourselves upstairs and started setting up the room, putting the refuge posters up, and getting the huge Ladyfest Essex banner pinned up to the bar (it managed to last most of day but started falling down later in the evening)! Shortly Cara, another volunteer arrived and helped to get all the balloons up as well. I set up the door table and got tables ready for the people who couldn't bring their own. The people with the tables started arriving- we had Jessica from Refuge, Kelly who makes clothes, Debbie who could do energising massages, a craft area set up by my friend Diana and a stall for myself with my zines and some promotion for my show and the feminist group I want to set up.
Sadly it was pretty quiet during the day, I'm not sure if it was the rain, or the fact that the London Slutwalk Protest was also happening. Quite a few of my friends made an appearence though which was really nice.
Just about 4, I got Jessica to do her talk about Refuge, she told us how the women's sector is seriously underfunded and how important events like this were, and shocking statistics of just how many women suffer domestic abuse- one in four women will suffer domestic abuse in their lifetime and two women are killed each week.
Shortly after the talk, the Sundown Arts poetry ladies arrived, and we treated to some poems from all three, that were both funny and sad, they were great!
Luckily the Railway is a vegan/vegetarian pub now, so I went and grabbed myself a rather yummy vegan burger and potatoes before going back up and getting ready for the music, bands started arriving and the drumkit got set up.
Then more people started to turn up, some people I knew, some I didn't.
There was a delayed start thanks to a non working microphone, but first up were Ten Tigers, who played a great set as always even debuting a new song.
Candy Panic Attack blistered their way through an angsty, punky/riot grrrl set, Calico had to play acoustic as their drummer let them down at the last minute, but I loved them, the singers had amazing voices, I'd not seen them before, but I'm quite keen to see them in full band mode now :)
The Scarlet Echo were fun and energetic, it was kind of a shame, the audience seemed to be sitting and standing on the sides most of the time.
Death of the Elephant did as great as they always do.
Annoyingly, the sound guy started taking everything down as it was getting to 11pm and we were running behind so Le Monnier still hadn't played, I had to tell him I'd been told we could go till 11.3o especially as the band had travelled 2 hours to get here, but he hadn't been told and had to go and check, so by the time Le Monnier came on they had to play a really short set :( they were as amazing as I thought they would be though, and they dedicated 'Kingyo' to me :D
Overall it was a positive day and we made £130 for Refuge! If you want to donate some more just go to http://www.justgiving.com/ladyfestessex
I've got photos posted on my Facebook and Tumblr, and also some videos on Tumblr, I'll probably post them here and on all the Ladyfest pages over the next week, but for now I'm