Full lineup and workshop announced for TOMORROW’S femme-tastic Venus Fest in Toronto, feat. Madame Gandhi, Grouper, Lido Pimienta, Weaves, Queen of Swords and many more

Full lineup and workshop announced for TOMORROW’S femme-tastic Venus Fest in Toronto, feat. Madame Gandhi, Grouper, Lido Pimienta, Weaves, Queen of Swords and many more

How’s your weekend looking? Barren live music plans? Depressing and excessive testosterone-laden shindigs at every turn? Well then, look no further than a little bit north of the (eastern US) border, because the roster order and set times have been confirmed for Venus Fest, which (sorry to spring this on you) kicks off TOMORROW (September 30) at Daniels Spectrum/Artspace in Toronto.

Organizer Aerin Fogel says that the line up is a “really beautiful representation of the festival,” and she couldn’t be more on point. Where else can you see ace electronic artist and former M.I.A. drummer Madame Gandhi, atmospheric icon Grouper, 2017 Polaris Prize winner Lido Pimienta, the hot-as-hell Weaves, Tunisian revolutionary Emel Mathlouthi, and many more?…At one venue??…In ONE DAY?!? Even “beautiful” is selling this lineup short.

REAL TALK: although one keeps hearing that “things are getting better” (and I believe they are) there is downright inequality throughout the industry and heavy bottom-of-the-bill tokenism rampant at the music festival level. The problem isn’t that there aren’t enough women singing out, it’s that they often haven’t been afforded the platforms to be heard. The inaugural Venus Fest — which boasts a lineup and staff composed entirely of women, non-binary and trans people — is looking to re-balance what has long been a predominantly male-dominated music festival scene and address frustrations held among female musicians and fans alike.

In addition to the acts playing Saturday, a Sunday workshop with Madame Gandhi has also been announced. “The Future is Female: Elevating & Celebrating Femininity in 2017. A Workshop and Talk by Madame Gandhi” takes place THIS SUNDAY evening (October 1) , and, as Fogel notes, “a lot of it is quite mysterious to me still but, as part of it, she is going to give a talk that is supporting people in aligning their social justice work with their personal passion. Kind of building a bridge between the two which is really exciting.” According to the workshop announcement, Gandhi “will discuss her thoughts on the agenda of today’s modern feminist movement: what “the future is female” means, the importance of an intersectional approach to equality, the fight for menstrual equity and what we all can learn from the trans and gender non-conforming community. She will also address her thoughts on “Atomic Living,” the notion that spontaneity can be used productively to achieve our goals.” That should be a good enough justification to stick around the 6ix another day, no?

Tiered ticketing for Saturday’s all-day fest and info on Sunday’s workshop can be bought and sought here.

Venus Fest full lineup (09.30.17):

1:00 - Hex
1:45 - Queen of Swords
2:30 - Ice Cream
3:15 - Witch Prophet
4:00 - Phedre
4:45 - The Highest Order
5:30 - Diana
6:30 - Lido Pimienta
7:30 - Weaves
8:30 - Madame Gandhi
9:30 - Grouper
10:30 - Emel Mathlouthi

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