Wednesday special: LadyFest in Leeds (by Jess Haigh, @bookelfleeds)

LadyFest, the global movement of not-for-profit festivals celebrating women’s music, arts, activism and culture, is once again coming to Leeds. Leeds LadyFest 2013 will be held at Wharf Chambers, Wharf Street, on Saturday 19 October.

Over the last year myself and a plucky band of committee members have been putting together a programme of speakers, workshops and musical acts that celebrate women’s writing, art, music, feminist activism and sport across Yorkshire.

We’ve been holding loads of fundraisers to raise money to put on the event, but all money raised after this will go to Support After Rape and Sexual Violence Leeds (SARSVL) and Leeds Women’s Aid.

You might have seen us running the pub quiz at East of Arcadia, or attended one of our popular Art and Activism nights at LS6 Café or the Chemic Tavern, which saw speakers from organisations as diverse as West Yorkshire Hollaback, the Abbey House Museum and Women’s Health Matters speak about their work.

And finally, after months of waiting, LadyFest itself is here!

Saturday will be kicked off with an afternoon of talks, performances and workshops. Performers include poet Carol Robson, zine maker, comic and activist Chella Quint, co-author of Reclaiming the F Word Kristin Aune, and the Leeds Roller Dolls.

We will also be hosting a series of round-table open discussions on various aspects of feminism and women’s lives, including Lesbian Sexual Health and body positive living.

We also want to encourage attendees to show off their creative side, so there will be space to create small pieces of art throughout the day.

Then in the evening we kick off our serious Let’s Learn About Stuff hats, and replace them with our Let’s Rock Out To Kick Ass Tunes dancing shoes (though on our feet, not on our heads. Unless you want to dance on your head. We’re very open). Bands performing from 7 ish include garage-punk ensemble Nervous Twitch, no wave band Etai Keshiki, country rockers the Backyard Burners, Esper Scout (who will have just released their new mini-album Poet Curses that week) and ukulele legends The Three Amigos.

Tickets can be bought online to be picked up on the door, and cost £5 for a day ticket, £4 for a night ticket or £8 for all day long! The day’s events kick off at 12 midday ish and the night will end about 11pm.

LadyFest is open and welcome for all genders. Wharf Chambers operates a safe spaces policy which we will be enforcing; more information can be found on their website. You also must be a member of Wharf Chambers or a guest of a member to attend the event. You can buy membership for a pound on the Wharf Chambers website.

I’m really looking forward to what will hopefully be a thought provoking, educational but also fun day! It has been a real pleasure being part of creating this festival this year.

Jess Haigh (@bookelfleeds,


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2 Responses to Wednesday special: LadyFest in Leeds (by Jess Haigh, @bookelfleeds)

  1. jesshaigh says:

    Guttingly, Chella can no longer join us on Saturday BUT DO NOT DISPAIR we have a cracking replacement lady!

  2. Pingback: Leeds today: radio, pictures, literature, half term, godless, market, bricks, art, flowers, housing and kitchen. | Beyond Guardian Leeds

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