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Tuesday 17 July 2018

Know Your Rights: Sussex-Based Festival Puts Women Centre Stage

For too long festivals have been too male and now Byline Festival is doing something beyond the usual rhetoric….

Forty-five music festivals have pledged to get gender equality in line ups and conference panels by 2022. Byline Festival, which takes place at Pippingford Park, East Sussex, in August, doesn't want to wait and it is not just about numbers.

The festival has a line-up filled with inspirational women who are changing the game; from Russian Feminist group Pussy Riot to June Sarpong and Carole Cadwalladr. They also have a diverse festival organising team which is 50% female.

Saturday 25th August the date the inspirational June Sarpong will join Byline to speak on their Representation of the People panel, as well as the publication date of her new book The Power of Women.  

June Sarpong - Diversity: Six Degrees of Integration

Byline is proud to be representing women's rights across the media. 

They have a range of all female panels addressing Feminist Journalism, No Refuge and the Refuge Woman and "The new age of consent; what does #MeToo mean to Millennials?" with Emily Reynolds, co-founder of Second Source and The Words by Women Awards.

Robyn Vinter, founder and editor of The Overtake, an investigative news website for millennials.

Jasmine Andersson, PinkNews' investigative reporter, co-founder of Second Source, an organisation that addresses the issue of Sexual Harassment in Media

Penny Foster, singer songwriter behind album project Power Dress and Amna Saleem, a feminist freelance writer.

Also under discussion is Feminist Investigative Journalism with Claire Provost, editor of Open Democracy, covering gender and social justice. 

Then comes the eagerly awaiting headline music act, Pussy Riot, the Russian feminist group led by Nadya Tolokonnikova, with their spikey and riotous audio/visual protest art and music performance.

Also taking the stage is Courtesans, an underground London metal band formed in 2011 by Sinead Bales, Saffire Sanchez, Agnes D. Jones and Vikki Brown. 

Joining the staunch feminist line up are The Pricsillas, a North London all-girl power-pop/glam/garage punk band, formed in 2003, their singles have been played both nationally and overseas. 

Also on the bill is one of ELLE's most inspiring women and four time UK beat boxing champion Grace Savage and British singer songwriter Amy Odell, Ibiza style PowerDress and three-piece basement grunge group The Kut.

Many of the festival's bands are fronted by women including Rhoda Dakar originally of the Body Snatchers and the Specials, Lorna of the Argonauts, as well as Kat & Co and Phoenix Chroi.

Theatre at the festival doesn't just have more women than men but looks at feminist and women's issues. 

For example, Purple Ostrich Productions, a London-based feminist theatre company looks at marginalised characters and stories and brings them centre stage. 

They are performing their gender swapped Romea and Julian and the comedy lecture Vadge of Honour. Expect songs, dances, re-enactments of terribly sexist film scenes and political commentary.

A variety of one woman shows include Nicole Acquah on the power of language, Yasmin Choudhury on curries, lone-parenting, start-ups, mental health, politics, feminism, Islam, Bangladesh luxury and survival and also "No Refuge" areal life story by Maeve Mcclenaghan and Jasmine Andersson.

Visit Byline Festival and see what the future of female friendly festivals will look like. The Fesyival takes place at Pippingford Park, East Sussex, from 24-27th August 2018. CLICK HERE for more info.

by: Mike Cobley



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