College JCRs back all-female festival

Somerville and Wadham JCRs have each supported £250 worth of funding for The Sisterhood Festival, a charity music event organised exclusively by and for those whose identify as women

Somerville and Wadham JCRs have each supported £250 worth of funding for The Sisterhood Festival, a charity music event organised exclusively by and for those whose
identify as women. Mansfield’s JCR has pledged £200 towards the event.

The festival will be taking place on Wednesday 13th June at the Varsity Club and aims to “celebrate the achievements of women in a music scene that is often dominated by men, and creating a safe, empowering and inspiring space for them”. Several more requests for funding are due to be proposed to other JCRs in the upcoming days.

Event co-ordinator, Jess Bollands, a third-year Somerville English student and front-woman
of female funk band Sisters of Funk, was inspired to create the event after hearing about a venue of the same name which was introduced at Glastonbury Festival in 2016.

The venue aimed to create a safe and inclusive space for its “female festival-goers” which Bollands and the rest of the Oxford’s Sisterhood hope to replicate.

She told Cherwell: “I set up the all-women funk band, Sisters of Funk, back in Michaelmas and have been blown away by the reception that we’ve received.

“Having seen first-hand how empowering and inspiring it is to give female performers a platform, I thought it would be incredible to put on an event that could showcase the many talented female and non binary musicians, performers and DJs that Oxford has to offer.”

The festival will also be raising money and awareness for three charities based in Oxford: The Oxfordshire Sexual Abuse and Rape Crisis Centre, Syrian Sisters, and The Porch.
The event organisers plan to use the Varsity Club’s multiple floors to showcase different genres of music. Attendants of the event can expect an acoustic stage showcasing female singer songwriters and a cappella groups, such as the Oxford Belles, a main stage featuring funk and soul performers and a drag king, in addition to a rooftop DJ performing
throughout the evening.

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The rooftop will also have arts and crafts stalls, as well as drop off stations for students to donate sanitary products and toiletries to Shoebox Oxford, an organisation that packages and sends these items to vulnerable women across Oxfordshire.

Along with support from JCRs, Sisterhood are teaming up withfeminist zine, Cuntry Living, to hold a club night at cellar on the 9th of May in order to promote the night and raise funds. As with the festival, the night has an exclusively female setlist. A committee member responsible for the organisation of the night, Maya Tysoe, said it will be a “fun
filled night of funk and soul at Oxford’s grooviest club, Cellar, to promote its first ever all female festival.”

She said that the night is most importantly a celebration of “all things female” and called it “a groundbreaking collaboration to celebrate the achievements of female artists and musicians and to create a platform to inspire and empower all those who identify as
women.”

1 COMMENT

  1. Perhaps being Jess Bollands’ grandad makes me biassed but it’s a great idea and I hope all goes well on the 13th!
    All power to you Jess.
    John Richardson

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