LaDIY Fest – The Nuts and Bolts of a Grrrl Revolution

In advance of November’s LaDIY fest, we spoke to co-organiser Cara to get the scoop on the who’s, what’s, when’s and where’s of this grassroots phenomenon.  

For those who aren’t in the know, can you sum up LaDIYfest in one sentence?

‘LaDIYfest is an inclusive, DIY, anti-capitalist, community based feminist festival taking place on 12th-13th November 2011’

Who are the main players in the Sheffield incarnation of LaDIYfest and what inspired you to bring the event to the city?

There have been quite a few people involved, past and present and everyone seems to chip in when and how they can which works really well because everyone has different areas of experience and skill and interest. I think most of us have read about or attended previous Ladyfests in other places – Sheffield is such an amazing city, it seemed almost wrong there hadn’t been one before. 

What sort of response have you had so far?

The response has been amazing! There have been so many people who have wanted to run workshops or perform, we’re currently trying to sort out the program to be able to cram in as much as possible. Hopefully if this event goes as well as it feels it might we can do even bigger and better things in future. 

There have been loads of peripheral fundraising events gearing up to main extravaganza.  Can you tell me about a couple that you particularly enjoyed?

I think the ‘Bring Your Own Band’ event that we did took us all by surprise because it was so much fun largely because we weren’t really sure what to expect – we didn’t really know who would turn up and want to perform or how well it would fit together and it was just brilliant. It’s something we’re hoping to continue doing every couple of months after the main event. The fundraising events are really important because we have to raise all the money for everything ourselves.

The aim is to cover all our costs before the event so that any money paid and donated for tickets will go 100% direct to the Sheffield Rape and Sexual Abuse Counselling Service who we are raising money for.

How easy is it for people to get involved?

Very easy! We have weekly meetings (all the details, minutes and general info get posted on and anyone can come along even if it’s just to say hi and see what’s going on. Over the last few weeks there have been quite a few new faces have that have only just arrived in Sheffield and it’s been so exciting hearing their thoughts and ideas and see what they want to do. We can also be emailed or found on Facebook or just come along to something we’re organising and say hello, it’s never too late to jump on board. 

What are your aspirations for how LaDIYfest can help progress the feminist movement in Sheffield?

I’d love to see future generations of people getting involved and taking on continuing to organise LaDIYfests; there’s always so much you can do with other areas or a different emphasis to focus on. LaDIYfest is whatever the people involved make it, so it feels really exciting to see what the next group of people might create.

Freesheffield will be shaking their bones at the next LaDIY fundraiser hosted by Daisy Daisy Does at The Red House tomorrow (8pm on the 8th).  Featuring Standard Fare (check out their video below), Town Bike and Markie, with a disco for the dirty-stop-out brigade until some unholy hour.  Entry’s £4 unless you turn up after the bands when it’s free.   



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