The week FLIPfest is offering a voice and venues for female and gender-non-conforming musicians and artists.
“It is a music festival geared to performers and artists who are female or gender non-conforming,” said Kristen Krein, one of the organizers of the event, which began Monday with a seminar on sexual assault and bystander intervention at the University of Lethbridge.
Most of the festival is Saturday, Aug. 19, beginning with a free brunch at the Gate from 11 a.m.-3 p.m..
After brunch there will be there will be seminars and workshops happening at the Gate including anti-oppression training with CKXU and Tseten Tseten and a panel discussion of women of colour in music featuring Manuela Baila Zarzuelza from Saskatoon garage rock/ punk/riot Grrrl band the Babyfats, Mandy Fox from local alternative rock band Fox Eyes and Blood Rez Crew’s Jessy Blackwater plus Edmonton indie rock violinist Foonyap.
The evening will be filled with performances at several downtown venues including an all ages show at Blueprint beginnings at 7 p.m., all ages show at the Owl Acoustic Lounge from 8-10 a.m., with the show continuing until close, the Slice at 8:30 and there is even an all ages “dry ” show in the Petit Trianon, the basement of the Trianon Gallery, from 9-midnight.
A variety of acts will be coming to perform including local musicians Shaela Miller band, Brenna Lowrie, Mom Bod and W.I.T.S. They will be joined by an array of musicians coming everywhere from Edmonton to Toronto and Montreal. Some of the highlights are sure to be Foonyap, Calgary and the Shiverettes, Jess Tollestrup and Toronto musician Lacey Hill, to name a few.
“There are a lot of musicians from Edmonton and a lot from Southern Alberta,” Krein continued.
In addition to lots of music, There is no charge to attend any of the events, though recommended donations of between $5 to $10 will be accepted.
FLIPfest ends on Sunday with an artisans market at the Southern Alberta Art Gallery Aug. 20 from 1-5 p,m.
“Our volunteers have put in a lot of hours into this festival. I’m really excited about it, Krein enthused.
“It’s our first year, so it really has been a big learning curve,” Krein continued.
“I love Love and Records and the Caribbean festival and all of the other festivals we have, but we don’t have a multi-venue festival dedicated to female and gender non-conforming artists. You can go to a show and you’d be lucky to see one female act and four or five all male acts,” she continued.
“This is a safe and non-discriminatory festival,” she emphasized.
The organizers received financial support form several sponsors including the Electric Eye Music Festival, LPIRG, CKXU, the University of Lethbridge Women’s Centre and Alberta Foundation for the Arts, to name just a few.
“Everything is free, so I hope people will come and enjoy a music festival. We have a safer spaces policy,” she said, praising the female musicians in town.
“Shaela is out there and she is killing it, so we hope it will inspire the next Shaela Miller and Brenna Lowrie. It is an opportunity to celebrate female and gender non conforming musicians. I feel good about it,” Krein concluded.