- 06 Jun 18
The third instalment of the Women’s Work festival is officially underway. This year the festival runs from Tuesday June 5th to Sunday June 10th, 2018. Women’s Work is a unique event for Belfast that highlights the important contribution that women make to music.
Inspired by a growing global movement across the music industry towards a more even playing field, the programme has become an annual celebration and promotion of not only new and existing female talent, but also for diversity and change.
Women's Work runs across a range of venues in Belfast including The Oh Yeah Music Centre, The Black Box, The Spaniard, Duncairn Arts Centre, Queens Film Theatre, The Strand Arts Centre and The American Bar. Across these six days and nights, a wide range of activities are open to all genders and include showcases, gigs, special events, panels, talks, and exhibitions.
This year's main events include:
· What’s The Score, an exclusive Composition and Arrangement workshop with highly sought after musician and collaborator Charlotte Hatherley (Ash, Bat For Lashes, KT Tunstall, Bryan Ferry). (June 9th)
· Women’s Work showcase in Association with Blue Moon Craft Beer, with Bad Bones, Hiva Oa, Pillow Queens, Strange New Places, Cherym, Gaze is Ghost, Sister Ghost and special guest DJ Charlotte Hatherley. (June 9th)
· Exclusive rooftop performance from Irish singer songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Brigid Mae Power. (June 6th)
· Open House Presents Sóley at The Strand Arts Centre. This marks a welcome return to Belfast for the Icelandic artist whose last appearance was in support of John Grant at the Mandela Hall in 2016. (June 7th)
· Soundtrack of Our Lives. Five of Northern Ireland’s prominent female politicians in conversation about music and more with BBC’s Marie-Louise Muir. This event features MLAs Naomi Long, Claire Hanna, Carál Ní Chuilín, Clare Bailey and Paula Bradley. (June 7th)
· Suffragette for Sound. Julie McLarnon (Analogue Catalogue) and guest Caro C lead a unique workshop that incorporates the genius of electronic music pioneer Delia Derbyshire (creator of original Dr Who theme). The evening will follow with a DJ set from Belfast Club Queens and defenders of the dance floor GIRL. (June 8th)
· Joni’s Story. A celebration of Joni Mitchell, a musical icon and major influence on singer songwriters across the world. The festival’s closing event is presented by Bird & Bramble with music from DANI, Amy Montgomery, Lauren Bird, Amanda St John and more. (June 10th)
· Panel discussions and workshops with Olga Fitzroy (producer of Coldplay), Emma Edgar (Tour Manager, Placebo, Everything Everything, Wolf Alice), Claire Southwick (Primitive Management), Angela Dorgan (First Music Contact) and Susan Breen (Film Producer, Requiem – BBC and Netflix). (June 6th- 9th)
· Belfast premiere of Here To Be Heard: The Story of the Slits at QFT in association with Girls Rock School NI and Belfast Film Festival. (June 7th)
· Music Is Dialogue with Luna Abu Nassar and Gani Tamir at Duncairn Arts centre. (June 9th)
· Launch of Fem-anarchy in NI – addition of the female punk story to the NI Music Exhibition at Oh Yeah. (Following a call out to the punkettes of NI's late '70s, to coincidence with some of the biggest moments in the local punk story, the Oh Yeah Centre will reveal a selection of stories, memorabilia, photos and more at this special exhibition). (June 5th-10th)
Find the full programme here: issuu.com/ohyeahbelfast
The Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Nuala McAllister, who officially launched the festival said: “Women's Work festival is making an important contribution to the overall celebration of Belfast as a great music city. We exceed expectation due to the sheer amount of successful artists that come from our city and from the region. Singers such as Ruby Murray, who still holds the record for the most number of singles in the UK Top 20 at the same time, to the more modern and diverse artists like Kaz Hawkins, Roe, Soak and Ursula Burns show we have a wealth of female talent to share.”
McAllister also acknowledged the significance of this year’s festival. “The Women's Work campaign is global and forward thinking, and Belfast is delighted to be part of this international celebration. Particularly in this centenary year of the Representation of the People Act when women’s voices were successfully heard for the first time on the political stage - opening opportunities for women like me and others to make our voices sing across a wider audience.” This year marks the hundredth anniversary of the Representation of The People Act 1918, an event that became a milestone in the fight for democratic equality, which is still being fought today. The festival will coincide with Processions, a mass participation artwork event that will take place on Sunday 10th June and there are events within the programme that will tie into this event.
Charlotte Dryden of Belfast’s Oh Yeah Music Centre said: “There is no doubt that the talent, determination and visibility of women across many sectors has been much more prevalent in recent years. This has been through a concerted movement of change across the world, and in terms of music and the wider creative and cultural landscape Women’s Work has worked hard to be part of that change in Belfast. It’s encouraging also that we can depend on supporters that share the vision, that’s why it’s with great pleasure we can welcome Help Musicians NI as our principal partner this year. We’re also delighted that our existing Live Music Partner, Blue Moon, with support from the Arts & Business Investment Programme has extended its commitment to supporting local music for our showcase event.”
Keith Millar of Help Musician NI expressed his excitement at partnering up with Oh Yeah, saying: “Help Musicians NI is delighted to be principal partner with the Oh Yeah Music Centre for Women’s Work this year. In a year marking the centenary of the female vote in the UK, women have a more important role than ever at the core of activism and meaningful political change, with music as the backdrop for this change making. It is this positive social change which Help Musicians continues to contribute to, through our partnerships and our vital work to help and support those in need within the music industry.”