Read time:4 minute, 38 seconds

A new and bespoke live music festival created solely by women takes place on 11-14 October 2019 headlined by Manchestersynth-pop star SHURA and Derry-born indie-folk prodigy SOAK– both firm BBC Radio 6 favourites. Friday night will be curated by Brit-Award winning singer-songwriter KT Tunstall

pioneering festival for women in music, DIVA Music Festival is passionate about music fans, rights and equality; bringing the most talented women in music together under one roof in an inclusive and accessible environment. 

It is the only UK festival to boast 100% female bill

Of UK festival line-ups in 2018,70% were all-male bands with just 19% all-female bands and 11% mixed. DIVA Music Festival features undeniably talented female-fronted musicians booked because of talent rather than their gender.

The festival, co-founded and produced by singer-songwriter and actor Heather Peace, aims to promote female empowerment and diminish inequality and discrimination in the music industry. Peacewill also perform at the festival.

Friday headliner SHURA comes fresh from her standout performance at Glastonbury 2019. The self-proclaimed, “friendly neighbourhood lesbian vaping pope” Shura returned from a three year hiatus with new singles, the sizzling BKLYNLDN and her latest release religion (u can lay your hands on me). Her highly anticipated new album Forevher is out in August.

 Mercury-nominated songwriter SOAK– aka Bridie Monds-Watson – headlines Saturday night. Once a teenage prodigy, 22-year-old SOAK now emanates maturity following the release of second album, Grim Town. Melancholic and dream-filled, her new material breathes life into her sobering romantic vision, conjuring danceable heartbreak anthems fit for any main stage. Last month, SOAK made her US TV debut on US show Late Night With Seth Meyers – an explosive taste of things to come.

The aim of DIVA Music Festival? To elevate female talents into the positions they have rightfully earned

 The festival will stage some of the best live music from across the world including DJ’s playing into the early hours. KT Tunstall will also DJ joined by X Factor and Eurovision singer Saara Aalto, 4x UK beatbox champion turned electro-pop legend Grace Savage, The L Word’s BETTY, Londoner, producer and stand-out Glastonbury star GEoRGiA as well as audio-visual pioneer synth starAriana & The Rose whose anthemic new track True Love became a global pride anthem.

An eclectic host of live acts await DIVA festival-goers who want to bop ’til they drop (or sway while they play) with stages will be bouncing to the sounds of Cat Burns, LANTA, Lots Holloway, Toya Delazy, Kal Lavelle, LAKY, The Coaltown Daisies, Charlotte Carpenter, Katey Brooks and Xylaroo.

It’s Lots Holloway

The aim of the festival? To elevate female talents into the positions they have rightfully earned, provide a positive space in which to nurture female grassroots talent, and to embrace and champion women both on and off stage.

Curator and Festival Ambassador KT Tunstall said: “I am incredibly proud to be a founding supporter of the DIVA Music Festival. It is an enormous challenge to launch a new music festival, and with only approximately 19% of festival acts having a female member, vastly more challenging to do so with an all-female line up. By being a curator at this year’s DIVA festival, I am thrilled to be able to play my part in working towards gender equality on festival line-ups.”

Co-founder Heather Peace said: “Being the co-founder and artistic director of the DIVA Music Festival is one of the things I am professionally most proud of. We’ve created a festival that nurtures new talent alongside established, brilliant female artists and female led bands. It’s time the major festivals realised that the gender imbalance just isn’t good enough. There are brilliant women making music all over the world and not being heard. At DMF, I believe we have created an inclusive atmosphere where everyone can feel safe to enjoy themselves and party. I want the DMF be a place where women support women in their careers, in front of and behind the scenes. When we all work together, with the support of our brothers too, we can really make a difference for girls and women.”

The event is also a part of the PRS Keychange initiative for gender equality.

Francine Gorman from Keychange said:We’re delighted that DIVA Music Festival has joined in with the Keychange pledge, alongside hundreds of festivals worldwide. It’s really encouraging that major music organisations, independent companies and festivals are demonstrating their commitment to gender equality – from world leading concert halls and orchestras to festivals and record labels, pledge signatories are creating an industry wide movement. This will increase choice, quality and opportunity for future generations of music lovers, industry professionals, music creators and artists.”

Toya Delazy

DIVA Music Festival has a relaxed atmosphere with a range of accommodations options available. The park’s accommodation is nestled in the heart of the Dorset countryside at Sandford Holiday Park with stylish lodges available to book, as well as the option to bring your own campervan or tent. It’s also dog friendly. 

It’s also truly a bespoke festival. With a capacity of just 1500, it’s a unique opportunity to witness some amazing talent in an intimate and inclusive setting. Everyone who attends becomes part of the “DIVA family” with memories that will last a lifetime.  

About the author

Features Desk

One thought on “First fully female line-up music festival launches in UK”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Latest articles