Twelve reasons to attend a women’s music festival

michigan festival

  1. Because it’s fun

A few thousand women in the woods, a convention center or hotel? Where do I sign up?

The Saturday night performer jam. That's me in the middle with my arm up. Photo by Janice Rickert.

The 2012 Saturday night performer jam at the National Women’s Music Festival. Photo by Janice Rickert.

2. You’re supporting women musicians

Don’t let Sony tell you who you should like. I’ve discovered some of my fav indie musicians at women’s music festivals.

  1. You’ll feel like an Amazon

After my first festival, I felt like I could leap tall buildings in a single bound. It’s so mind blowing to see women doing everything – from running big stages to playing music. Everything. When’s the last time you went to another kind of festival and experienced that?

4. You can learn cool stuff

All of the festivals have great workshops, from learning archery to drumming. And you’ll learn it from a woman, with women.

5. You can hang out with friends and make new ones

I have a whole circle of friends at a couple of festivals, most I keep in touch with throughout the year.


 6. You can eat well

I know you’re laughing but have you been to the Virginia Women’s Music Festival? They have dessert after every lunch and dinner. Lots of women love the vegetarian food at the Michigan festival.

drive all night book

You can buy my book! You expected a shameless plug, right?

7. You can buy women-made art, books and music

It’s like a women-made art gallery, y’all. The last time you went to a crafts fair or art show, how many of the artists were women? And the bookstores?

 8. You can perform

Most festivals have an open mike. Some have a festival chorus or drum group. Get your musical, poetic or dancing yayas out. Entertain your friends. Embarrass your kids.

  1. It’s a great family vacation

Most festivals have activities for kids as well as adults. (Some festivals don’t allow boys past a certain age so be sure to check ahead of time.)

10. It’s affordable

It’s cheaper than a cruise or a trip to Europe. You can drive to many of them.

 11. You can camp

I know, not an advantage for some of you. I’m not wild about sleeping on the ground either. But there is a serenity in looking at all that green while listening to kick-ass music. And if you don’t like to camp, some festivals offer cabins, RV areas and nearby hotels. (The National festival has a hotel right on the site.)

 12. If you don’t support them they will stop

I hate to be the party pooper, but they depend on your support. Don’t wait until an anniversary year (What, the other years are chopped liver?), for your favorite artist (You’ll discover new favorite artists, I guarantee it) or for you to win the lottery. You can make it affordable – save a little every week or volunteer (some festivals give workers a ticket).

All right, that’s enough to get you started. Here’s a list of festivals you might want to try:

BOLDfest (not strictly a music festival but they offer entertainment)

Iowa Women’s Music Festival

Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival

National Women’s Music Festival

Ohio Lesbian Festival

Virginia Women’s Music Festival

And more … Google ‘em.

If you’re thinking of reasons not to attend a festival, see my earlier post about festival myths.

Respectful discussion and suggestions are welcome below. Polarizing diatribes will be deleted.

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About jamiebobamie

Musician - teacher - writer - gets bored easily. I write an almost-weekly blog that includes true stories gathered from 20-plus years of touring, how-to articles for musicians and profiles of performers. Also, I love dark chocolate, I can play "Brown Eyed Girl" behind my head, and I twirl the baton badly.
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8 Responses to Twelve reasons to attend a women’s music festival

  1. Carolyn Gage says:

    And seeing Jamie. That’s a great incentive.

  2. xxdrleek10 says:

    I have never been to a woman’s festival and would love to go. My partner is dead now and for almost a year I have been posting on numerous FB sites looking to find other women who would like to attend and nary a response beyond…good idea…maybe…will let you know…we should get a group together. Nothing has ever come of it. I tried repeatedly last year to find someone to go to BoldFest never happened. I am just much too uncomfortable to just show up alone. Absolutely frustrating.

    • jamiebobamie says:

      Most of the festivals have groups for women who come alone. I know Michigan does. There are lots of ways to connect with women once you arrive at the festival, even if it’s not specifically for singles.

      • xxdrleek10 says:

        Thank you. I am usually so independent, go many, many places all by myself and connect with people relatively easily. I have no idea why I find going to a women’s music festival alone is so intimidating. I couldn’t force myself to do it last year and I am floundering this year.

  3. Pingback: The Michigan women’s festival is ending, now what? | Jamiebobamie

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