Loud Women Fest: Q&A with founder Cassie Fox

Looking through major festival lineups, the lack of female representation is undeniable despite the abundance of talented bands and it being the 21st Century. Female bands are still not being taken seriously and for Cassie Fox that just wasn’t good enough anymore and so – as with all great things – LOUD WOMEN was born out of passion and the need to forge a path for women. We chat to Cassie about why this festival is so important, what to expect from the fifth annual festival and more.

I guess starting at the beginning makes the most sense. Can you tell our readers a little more about how LOUD Women Fest got started?

LOUD WOMEN started as a regular gig night I started putting on basically so that my (all female) band could play with other women, and not be the ’token women band’, or put bottom of the bill because we would be presumed to be a nice quiet opening band. The events grew by word of mouth and social media, a community sprung up around them, and our annual festival has grown year on year, now attracting bands and audiences from around the world!

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Pleasure Venom at LW FEST 19 – photo by Keira Anee

Why do you think it’s so important to celebrate female and non-binary artists?

The best music is made by those who are fighting the power – the POCs, the queers, the women. We’ve heard more than enough music by men – they’ve been running the music industry, and the whole world, for long enough now. And look at the state of it all! It’s time to turn down the men, and turn up the women.

Bands are able to submit their music, right? Can you tell us a little more about the process of selecting the lineup?

We had over 500 applications from around the world for LW Fest 5! We have a panel (of musicians, journalists and music lovers) who meet each year to listen to everything and vote on their favourites. So this lineup is all sewn up, but we’ll be opening applications for the next festival soon.

What are some of the team’s favourite moments from past years?

I asked some of the others to chime in here …

Charley Stone says: LW Fests – probably seeing Sink Ya Teeth and She Makes War for the first time at that one at DIY Space in 2017. LW gigs overall – Mine is the Dubais & The Wolfs gig which was also the first time I saw Big Joanie.

Tony Rounce says: Hello Delaware’s absolutely storming set at #4 was one of the most impressive of a mighty bunch at last year’s all dayer. A wonderful performance by the late lamented Brosephine, at the LW Fighting Cocks gig in Kingston in February 2018, stays in my mind long after the band have gone their separate ways – and perhaps my favourite LW gig of all to date, the Galentine’s Day Ball at the Lexington that same month with Dream Nails and the Menstrual Cramps…

Julie Riley says: At LW Fest itself – last year was my first and it was like visiting the lands at the top of the Magic Faraway tree each time I switched between rooms. The night was full of some of my fave Loud Women bands. Menstrual Cramps were a particular highlight of the night as were Baby Seals. Other LW memorable events include seeing Sit Down at the Xmas Party at the Lexington and that night at the Hope and Anchor when I saw GG Alan Partridge and The Noise and the Naive.

Mine: From the very first LW Fest in 2016, the moment when the drummer of Vodun poured petrol over her drums and set fire to them! We had no idea she was going to do it, so the sound of a thousand jaws dropping could be heard! Last year, Pleasure Venom were my absolute highlight – it felt like such a treat to be getting to see this explosive band from Austin TX on our stage.

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Vodun at LW FEST 16 – photo by Keira Anee

What can we expect from this year’s ceremony?

20 amazing bands! Announced so far:

Bang Bang Romeo
Jelly Cleaver
Hagar the Womb
I, Doris
Pink Lemonade
Honey Joy
The Empty Page
Lilith Ai
Breakup Haircut

and look out for further announcements in November!

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If we can be so formal as to ask the age old (dreaded) interview question – where do you see LOUD Women Fest in 5/10 years’ time?

If we’re still needed, we’ll still be here, still supporting women musicians at grassroots level! That’s the nature of LW Fest, so it’s not like we’re going to be turning into a mainstream festival in the future. We already have some other LW chapters around the world (in New York, LA, Canada, Australia and Ireland) so it would be great to see more chapters springing up over the years, and more events for women to play worldwide.

Get your tickets now at loudwomen.org/fest.

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