A „Ladyfest“ is an artistic event of several days‘ duration, that is organized mainly from women and queers (compare: Dowens, 2007). It offers a supply of workshops, concerts, lections, screenings, open discussions and exhibitions. The roots of the Ladyfests are the Riot-Grrrl movement and D.I.Y. („do it yourself“).
The first ever Ladyfest was conducted in Olympia, Washington in August 2000. The Festival attracted 2,000 attendees from around the world. Olympia is also the birth place of the Riot-Grrrl movement, that established oneself as a network of women from a few American female bands in the early 1990s. Several artists dealt with various subjects, such as (sexual) violence against women and girls, sexuality, marginalization of the sub-cultures in music and D.I.Y. as well as culture and feminist politics. The Riot-Grrrl movement can be seen as a flow within feminism. Out of it, the Ladyfest evolved. Groups who use the title „Lady“, continue the traditions of the Riot-Grrrls. Thereby the character of a lady as a hegemonial order of sexes is spoofed, to seize the system of the heteronormativity. Furthermore it’s about to create more scope for multifaceted life forms beyond heteronormativity, to thematize this in connection to gender-hierarchic deviations within the music culture.
A Ladyfest can be comrprehended as a manifold attempt, to intervene into the multiplex interweaving of power relations. Multiplex interweaving is referred to as the complex meshing of gender, rank, nationality, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age and several other deviation categories. According to this, Ladyfests point out the heterogenous social positioning of the organizing people and the target audience (compare: Gross, 2006, S 5ff).