LadyfestGR to celebrate badass women

LadyfestGR to celebrate badass women

Image: Sofia Ramirez Hernandez

This weekend welcomes Grand Rapids, Michigan’s annual celebration of ladies. LadyfestGR 2016 promises to offer a host of talented female-identifying artists and speakers. Catch them around town this Saturday, April 2.

Wristbands will go for $10 and they grant access to all LadyfestGR performances, day and night. Workshops are free for anyone to attend.

The first Ladyfest took place in Olympia, Washington in 2000. It has since occurred in places all around the world. Grand Rapids’s Ladyfest started in 2011 as a grassroots festival with the singular goal of bringing the community together to “honor the strengths, talents, and creative powers of women and girls.”

The Grand Rapids festival combines lady-hosted DIY workshops with “radical, diverse” performances by female musicians and poets. The voices of women are at the center of the event, but everyone is invited to listen and engage.

“[It’s] putting the spotlight on all the rad, talented women in our area in one day in hopes that others will see how beautiful it is and realize that in fact it should be the norm, not a ‘special’ day out of the year,” said Nicole LaRae, one of the event’s organizers.

This year’s festival includes performances by female musicians—many of whom are locally based—including spoken-word poets, a Girls Rock! Grand Rapids Alumna band, and a whole slew of talented songwriters and bands.

“We are focused on more local and regional talent than ever for our dayside performances,” LaRae said. “We have some incredible daytime performances that are not to be missed.”

The evening will bring headlining performances from TEEN, Moving Panoramas, and Yolonda Lavender and DC.

This year’s informative workshops have subject matter ranging from tips on cost-effective grocery shopping to talks about race in feminism. All the workshops are scheduled so that there’s no overlap—meaning you could attend all of them if you wanted. In between the sessions held at the Heartside Ministry Community Room, attendees will also be able to catch short films presented by the Grand Rapids Feminist Film Festival. A representative of Cherry Health will also be at Heartside Ministry to help people check their insurance status and see what kind of healthcare they qualify for.

Proceeds from the event will help pay for young girls to attend Girls Rock! Grand Rapids summer camp.

“Nothing is more important than investing in our future artists and leaders by empowering them,” LaRae said.

Can you handle that much exposure to feminine badassery in one day? There’s only one way to find out. We made this schedule to help you organize your affairs.