Ladyfest MCR 2016

Ladyfest MCR 2016 Chloe Peacock

29th September 2016

Ladyfest MCR 2016: A 3 day female-led festival of music, art and ideas furthering Manchester’s proud history of talented, creative and radical women. 

I was really pleased when the organisers of Ladyfest MCR 2016 got in touch with us to let us know about their fantastic two day event coming up in Manchester and wanted to share the details with you all. It sounds like it is going to be innovative, contemporary and lots of fun; with discussions and workshops on a range of topics from violence against sex workers,raising the visibility of women in tech to body positive sex and self-care. For instance, LadyfestMCR will present a day of free workshops to teach women technological skills they may otherwise not get the chance to access. Then there are loads of entertainment, arts and music stuff events going on too, such as an all female DJ line up at Eastern Bloc Records on the 7th October.  Sounds awesome! I suspect our Manchester meet up group are up for this.

So what’s happening at Ladyfest MCR 2016?
From October 7-9, Ladyfest MCR will hold a festival of live music, film, performance, art and ideas across 8 venues in Manchester’s Northern Quarter which aims to promote music and art created by women, to create spaces for discussion of ideas around gender equality, and to provide opportunities for participants to develop skills and knowledge in various areas, technical, practical and political. Many of the events are free and are open to all genders.


Manchester has a proud heritage of being at the forefront of social change as well as of talented women who have heavily influenced the city’s music scene, scientific and technological discoveries, and community movements. Blending some of the city’s most crucial and innovative musical talent with ideas and discussions about the role and capabilities of women in 21st Century Manchester’s academic, cultural and political life, Ladyfest MCR brings the city a unique festival which combines music, politics, technology, and community.

Friday 7th October will see the festival kick off at the legendary Eastern Bloc Records store on Stevenson Square with a free event from 8pm-1am featuring all female DJ lineup headed by legendary Mancunian vocalist Veba of Grand Central/Rae & Christian fame. The event aims to encourage the next wave of female DJs and producers to continue to flourish and push creative boundaries. Meanwhile, over at the Three Minute Theatre under Afflecks Palace, a sold-out crowd will celebrate the power of female friendships at a one-off screening of 90s cinematic cult classic “Clueless” featuring a performance from Manchester based concept pop band Whatevers.

Saturday 8th October sees a fullscale twelve hour takeover of Oldham Street, starting at 12pm at the Central Methodist Buildings across three rooms, Ladyfest MCR will present a series of talks, workshops and debates covering issues relevant to the lives of women in Manchester in the 21st century. Discussions include topics around race and gender, trans women’s experiences, ending violence against sex workers and critiques of the pornography industry. The Women in Tech series of workshops aims to raise the visibility of women in technology whilst Manchester shines brightly under the limelight as the European City of Science. Practical skills sessions on coding, game design, sound engineering and film production will aim to give participants an introduction to technological skills which are often very male-dominated in a supportive environment. All workshops are free to attend on a first come first served basis.

Alongside the workshops the Feminist Community Fair will run from 12-6pm demonstrating the amazing work of the many voluntary and third sector organisations across Manchester which support women and other groups from a wide range of backgrounds, allowing participants to learn about their work and services and find out how they can get involved in volunteering, fundraising and employment. Entry to the community fair is free and organisations and groups can book a stall by emailing ladyfestmcr

The jewel in the crown of Ladyfest MCR 2016 will be the Ladyfest Live event which showcases female musical and creative talent across two of the Northern Quarter’s best loved venues, Gullivers and The Castle. Homegrown talent is represented by two Manchester based all-female post-punk threepieces, LIINES and Mr Heart, as well as musician and artists collective Poppycock, featuring ex The Fall member Una Baines amongst the band members. Experimental duo Tangerine Cat and Singer/Songwriter Elena Cau will demonstrate why Manchester is so well known for hauntingly beautiful yet dark sounds. This bespoke lineup of local musicians is complimented by a hand-picked selection of bands from across the country; York indiepop duo JUNK, Leeds favourites Jesus and His Judgemental father fresh from their US tour, and raucous rock n roll femme fatales Thee Jezebels. Finally we are thrilled to welcome from Brooklyn, New York, the genre-busting electronic punk of Honeychild Coleman, aka Sugafreebk. Subject of the documetary “Afropunk; founder of the Sista Grrls Riot movement, a black women’s alternative to Riot Grrl in ’90s New York; composer for the Sundance Festival Award winning film “Pariah” and one-time member of The Slits, Honeychild is the true embodiment of the talented, creative and radical female artists Ladyfest MCR aims to support. Ladyfest Live runs 6pm-12pm at Gullivers and The Castle, Oldham Street, Manchester. Entrance is £10 on the door and the money raised keeps the workshops, community fair and other events free to attend.


Finally on Sunday 9th October, “Self-care Sunday” is the perfect ending to cap off the Ladyfest MCR weekend. Dedicated to all things creative, it’s a night to watch, learn, and create as we bring you stand-up, spoken word, music, talks, crafts, zines and much, much more. Featuring performances by She Choir Manchester, Becky Fox, Ladyparts and with workshops in cross-stitch, monoprinting and zine-making to name but a few, Self-Care Sunday aims to promote positive mental health and wellbeing through creative activity. Self-Care Sunday takes place from 7-10pm at Nexus Art Cafe, Dale Street, Northern Quarter, Manchester. Entry is free.

Ladyfest MCR is a collective which creates events that combine music, art and ideas with a feminist ethos.

The group aims to promote music and art created by women and non-binary trans people and provide opportunities for participants to develop skills and knowledge in various areas, both practical and political. Ladyfest MCR aims to create a sense of community amongst those who attend and participate in their events and activities, to bring together those interested in music and feminism in the local area and inspire people to work together to bring about social change.

Please check for news on future events, or follow them on Twitter at @ladyfestmcr.

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