On April 14, a longstanding tradition of female empowerment, kickass music, and community representation will return: Ladyfest. The national movement began in the ’90s after third-wave feminism and riot grrrl movements uplifted female musicians starved of equal representation in mainstream music coverage.
For Boston, Ladyfest returns for only the second time. Though our city hosted the music festival back in 2012, this time it returns with a major decision to open the doors even wider. Ladyfest Boston 2017 evolved from a branch of a national movement celebrating women in the arts to a branch that now includes other underrepresented populations in our music scene, including LGBTQ artists and people of color.
People devoted to music and those who listen casually can stroll through the festival with equal engagement thanks to a flea market, workshops, and speakers popping up over the course of the day as well. The community-based and volunteer-run festival is by and for the people. Because of that, it needs all of the support it can get.
In the meantime, local music blog Allston Pudding is throwing a partial benefit for Ladyfest Boston 2017 this Sunday at Great Scott. Lowell alt-rock emo group oldsoul, punk act Bleeders, and newcomers Baby are set to play, with the majority of the proceeds going to support the festival.
“It’s important to raise money in advance of the festival through benefit events because the festival itself is a benefit for both Girls Rock Campaign Boston and Rosie’s Place,” says Christine Varriale, editor-in-chief at Allston Pudding through whom the event was booked. “The money made before the festival goes towards paying the cost of the space we’re holding it in—The Cambridge YMCA in Central Square—and the bands, speakers, and workshop runners who have to travel for the festival, plus any additional costs that might come up.”
Each band features non-cis-male members or queer people, all of whom it is important to give avenues to be seen, heard, and succeed. They’re shoo-ins when it comes to representing what the festival is all about.
“Baby is a new band, and I love supporting new music coming from the scene,” Varriale explains. “It’s much more exciting to book new bands who don’t get a lot of attention than to book the same bands over and over again.”
By leveling the playing field, even before the festival kicks off, the volunteers and organizers behind Ladyfest will help make our community better than it was the week prior. Now get out there and show these ladies some love—you know, in the respectful, applauding, supportive way we know you always do.
OLDSOUL, BLEEDERS, BABY. SUN 1.15. GREAT SCOTT, 1222 COMM. AVE., ALLSTON. 9PM/18+/$8. GREATSCOTTBOSTON.COM