Last Sunday, I had a very full and busy, but very inspiring day volunteering at LadyfestEASTLondon. This was the fourth Ladyfest I've attended, I've been to two London based Ladyfests including LadyfestTen, and hosted Ladyfest Essex here in Southend last year.
I always have a great time at Ladyfests, as there are always lots of interesting people to meet and amazing bands to discover. This year was the first time I've attended alone, and I'm glad that I didn't let this fact stop me from attending.
As I was helping out, I was up early and on a train by 10.30, to try and aim to get to the venue Hoxton Bar and Kitchen by lunchtime. I stopped to have some lunch at Liverpool street and then made my short tube journey down to the venue. Luckily organisers Beth and Kate were outside putting decorations up so it wasn't hard to find them! After briefly introducing each other, we went inside to get the room ready. This involved setting up tables for zines, the book swap, tombola and a workshop area as well as handmade jewellery. And making the room look pretty with fairy lights, bunting and posters. The room was soon looking like a feminist creative heaven.
The time went by at speed as it was soon 2pm and time to let people in. I helped out with selling on the door and as the day went on, it got busier and busier.
The first workshop I got to attend was The Alpha Betty collage workshop. A group of us sat on the floor with a pile of magazines, stencils and various art and craft items to make protest bunting which was later hung up around Hoxton Square, you can see my one in one of my photos below.
I spent a fair amount of the day on the door but also found plenty of time to have a look around and meet a lot of great people. I had a go on the tombola (but didn't win)! got some handmade jewellery, several badges and took part in the book swap- I got a Margaret Atwood book and another one called 'I Don't Care About Your Band'
I managed to be 'off duty' for the evening so I watched the poetry and comedienne Viv Groskop who was very funny with her feminist rap and feminist jokes.
The bands were varied in musical style-
first up there was acoustic loveliness from Minnie Birch, as the audience sat on the floor to listen.
Then it was Pettybone, the complete opposite, very loud and rowdy hardcore all female band.
Thoughtforms played psychedelic soundscapes.
Just before headliner Lilies on Mars took to the stage, compere Marie, made all of the organisers and volunteers of Ladyfest get up on the stage including myself!
Lilies on Mars were a fantastic end to a marvellous day with their dreamy indie pop and psychedelic rock.
Sadly by the time they finished I had to leave for a train, so I missed out on dancing to the djs.
It was a brilliant and inspiring day, the atmosphere was really positive and friendly, I left feeling like I had made lots of new friends.