LadyFest Glasgow 2013 highlights female under-representation in music scene
Highlights include Muscles of Joy, Hector Bizerk, Sacred Paws and Fiona Soe Paing
Electronic alchemist Fiona Soe Paing is singing the praises of LadyFest. The global DIY femme-pop hoopla was launched in Olympia, in 2000, supported by Sleater Kinney, The Gossip and 90s riot-grrrl trailblazers Bratmobile, and it returns to Glasgow this month.
‘Even after punk, even after riot grrrl, it’s a sad fact that the music scene is still male-dominated,’ says Aberdeenshire’s Soe Paing, who cites punk and feminism as vital to her eerie art. ‘There’s still a really long way to go for women artists and musicians, and a festival like LadyFest goes some way to redressing the balance. It celebrates great female performers and technicians at a high-profile and well-managed event; it’s paid work, not another instance where women go undervalued and underpaid; and being part of a worldwide network of independently-run small festivals, it’s doing something at grassroots level that can have a really big impact.’
Twelve years since it first came to the city, 2013’s LadyFest Glasgow welcomes the likes of Muscles of Joy, Hector Bizerk, ANAKANAK, Fem Bitch Nation, Erin Friel, Sacred Paws and Soe Paing -- ‘bands must be at least 50% women’, say organisers, who voice their commitment to ‘an inclusive and intersectional event’, and highlight that ‘all are welcome at shows: even men.’
LadyFest Glasgow 2013 coincides with International Women’s Day, and chimes with a local uprising in women-dominated pop (ad)ventures like TYCI, Lost and Found, MILK, LAID, Glasgow PodcART and Pussy Whipped. Soe Paing is also involved with #FemalePressure, a global social media campaign seeking to highlight sexism and female under-representation in the electronic music scene. All of these endeavours, she suggests, go some way to empowering women. ‘The more people hear about these things, the more encouragement and role models women have: then they can have a go, without feeling totally out on a limb.’
Kinning Park Complex, Glasgow, Fri 8 & Sat 9 Mar