Inspired by Lilith Fair, a travelling festival of female musicians that began in the late 90’s, HAIM hopes to resurrect the idea.
Lilith Fair was birthed by Canadian musician Sarah McLachlan, and took place during the summers of 1997-1999, to be later revived in 2010. It consisted entirely of all-female and female-led bands, as well as solo artists, raising over $10 million for charity! Artists like Sheryl Crow, Dido, Idina Menzel, Dixie Chicks, The Pretenders, Christina Aguilera and Nelly Furtado have been a part of the first run of the festival. The 2010 edition had The Bangles, Janelle Monáe and Mary J. Blige. It was never redone because McLachlan believed audience perceptions and expectations were different now, but we might see this change soon.
HAIM bassist Este Haim recently expressed the desire to create a “festival that’s just ladies”, and hopes to get in artists like Savages, Florence + The Machine, Taylor Swift, Lorde and Chvrches. At the New Yorker Festival on Saturday, she spoke about it at length, even though she admitted she had never attended Lilith Fair herself.
“We talk about this all the time, how there aren’t enough female represented bands and artists at festivals. You don’t see them. And it’s really sad for us. We came up with the idea basically of why can’t we just bring back a festival that’s just ladies – not that we don’t love the boys. Love the men.”
“I did see Melissa Etheridge in concert, I saw Sarah McLachlan in concert, I saw Paula Cole in concert and Sheryl Crow. All these amazing ladies had such an amazing outlet and place to play music, and it was really beautiful, and I feel like that’s not really available anymore and that outlet isn’t there. We talk semi-jokingly but semi-seriously about making it happen. So stay tuned. I think that would be really magical.”
Large-scale festivals have recently received a lot of flak for having a ridiculously low number of women in their lineup, so this festival is pretty much the need of the hour. Whether it revives the magic of Lilith Fair and smaller scale all-female punk festivals from the late 1900s remains to be seen, but we could totally get on board with this.