Lots of folks argue about the current state of feminism, some believing we’re still riding on the tails of riot grrrl’s third wave, others feeling that the tide has passed and that we’re stuck in the murky realities of a post-feminist world. 

As is often the case, an overview of the current political climate serves to provide a useful lens through which to understand exactly where we stand. As the GOP clamors for more and more control over reproductive rights, as Planned Parenthood faces threats to their existence as an institution that has provided aid to women for over 70 years, as sexual assault laws continue to work against the victim...well, the situation seems bleak. 

To engender change, to begin to think about how we can accomplish that which seems impossible, we must start from the bottom. This means rooting out truly progressive minded individuals and creating an informed and active community. Fortunately, there are plenty of these people who live right in Boston and who are ready to take action.

A bunch of us have gathered together to effectively respond to this need for communal effort. We’re currently in the process of putting together Ladyfest Boston, a 3 day event that will take place February 3-5 of this year at the YMCA in Cambridge. Over the course of that weekend, we’ll host over 20 bands and workshops and lots more fun things. We believe that representing women in music and the arts is an essential component of feminism and hope to gather a lot of openminded individuals to join us for the event!

All proceeds go directly to the Eastern Massachusetts Abortion Fund and to the bands.

The Boston LadyFest Committee 

January, 2012


Our official press release has more details:

Boston joins the international Ladyfest movement this winter with the debut of Boston Ladyfest, February 3 – 5. The fest showcases bands from across the country and the Boston area who are unified in examining the current state of feminism. More than 25 bands will convene in Cambridge for a three-day festival including the bands Waxahatchee (NJ), This is My Fist! (Chicago) and Alice Bag of famed LA punk band the Bags, as well as readings and workshops. And, throughout January, Boston Ladyfest presents a series of events, including a gallery residency and a screening of the new Le Tigre documentary. Proceeds benefit the Eastern Massachusetts Abortion Fund (EMA).

At a time when it’s being argued that feminism languishes in the dust of riot grrrl’s third wave, or even that the women’s movement has expired, Boston Ladyfest responds to the need for community awareness, spotlighting women in creative arts. Boston Ladyfest brings together dozens of female artists, from authors to avant garde noise artists to pop bands. Three days of music will take place at the Cambridge YMCA, including:

·        Alice Bag (LA): reading from her new book, Violence Girl, performing with members ofForeign Objects
·        New Jersey's lo-fi Waxahatchee, featuring Katie Crutchfield of P.S. Elliott
·        Chicago's This is my Fist! and Daylight Robbery
·        Shoppers (Syracuse, NY)
·        Boston garage-punkers Girlfriends and Thick Shakes
·        Boston indiepop jinglers Cotton Candy
·        Boston hardcore punk: Sick FixLibyansAmpere

Boston Ladyfest weekend also includes
·        Workshops, including with Ignatz Award-winner & Top Shelf Productions comic artist Liz Prince (Will You Still Love Me If I Wet the Bed?)
·        DJs, pot luck, feminist vendors and information tables including the EMA Fund

Stream or download this free sampler of bands playing the fest over at Bandcamp!


Throughout the month of January, other events take place to help raise awareness for a variety of female artists as well as the festival:

January 13, Adventures Close to Home, Washington Street Art Center:
Opening event for the month-long residency of feminist artists; silent auction and exhibition presented by Boston Ladyfest & Snow Project

January 22: Who Took the Bomp? Screening:
Boston-debut of Kerthy Fix’s tour documentary; includes interviews and tour footage from the trailblazing band whose electro-punk challenged sexism and homophobia

January 27th Noise show, Ladyfest benefit:
Donna Parker, Undeveloped Piles (Amy Mills), more

The first Ladyfest took place in Olympia, WA in 2000; others followed across the US and spread to the UK, Australia and New Zealand. Each Ladyfest is independently organized, but operates in the shared mission of promoting feminist art and activism.

Alice Bag and Liz Prince are available for interview; please contact us to arrange interviews with the authors, as well as bands and festival organizers. More details and a full schedule is posted at Boston Ladyfest’s website, where you can also learn about volunteer opportunities.