LaDIY Tramlines Picks!

A recent Guardian article highlighted that “47% of women in music earn under £10,000 a year, compared with 35% of men”. While at the NME awards, although Blondie won one of this year’s biggest accolades, “[it] marked only the third time [in 19 years] a woman has been included as a winner of the Godlike Genius  award. A solo female artist has never received it”. If you are a woman off stage “you only have a 15% chance of owning a label  or becoming a manager and in 2010 PRS announced that out of all the writers on their books, a mere 14% were women.” Another article points out that only 17% of bands at Reading/Leeds 2013 featured women, 21% at Bestival and 34% of Glastonbury. This isn’t very encouraging…

'For Whatever Reason'..(Access); Annie Gardiner, 2012 Installation of copies of NME magazine from 1989-2008. Piles of magazines divided by gender of artists depicted on the cover, as follows: Woman - Man - Both - None

‘For Whatever Reason’..(Access); Annie Gardiner, 2012
Installation of copies of NME magazine from 1989-2008. Piles of magazines divided by gender of artists depicted on the cover, as follows:
Woman – Man – Both – None


We’re not keen on binaries but this visual provides a rough idea of how stark the gender gap is.

So, to do our bit to highlight all the talented women, non-binary and LGBTQIA people making awesome music, and with so many acts playing over the weekend in Sheffield as part of Tramlines (as well as fringe events all over the city), we thought we would help with a few suggestions of bands/acts you might like to go see (click the names for youtube videos!) :-

(Thanks to Jo H, Joan P and Nick P and Robbie M for their suggestions!)

Plus our Audacious pals are putting on a great fringe show (five quid in, no ticket required!) on Friday 25th July with Cowtown, The Jelas, Fever Dream and Night Flowers which will be brilliant! (FB event)


Lastly, don’t forget to join us on the Hollaback! Tramlines chalk walk, which starts on Devonshire Green on the afternoon of Sunday 27th July.  If you have any other tips to share, do let us know what’s going on, where and when!

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GIG: Colour Me Weds + Hallie & The Annies + Middle Ones + Elopes

What better way to celebrate August bank holiday than a gig the previous evening – join us on Sunday for some brilliant live music and dancing :D

Edge Of The Universe Printing Press will also be joining us with a zine and vegan cake stall, badge making and an opportunity for you to make and submit your own page to go into a zine made that evening!

There may be more bands added, maybe a bbq. Who knows! Donations around £4/5 on the door, but no one will be turned away for lack of funds. 

DIY indie/punks from LDN with previous releases on Discount Horse.

New band featuring Grace and Anna from the Middle Ones with Ellis from Trust Fund. Total babes.

A very welcome return to two of the loveliest ladies in indiepop.

Sheffield’s own feminist queers making a racket.

With INVERT DJs until late for all your dancing needs!!

SUNDAY 24TH AUGUST at the Redhouse,  from early evening until very late.
£4/5 suggested donations but no one will be turned away for lack of funds. (FB Event)


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Tramlines Chalk Walk!

We’re going to be joining our friends at Hollaback Sheffield for a chalk walk on Sunday 27th July at 2pm. We will be meeting around Devonshire Green in the city centre for a short wander – a specific meet point and short route will be announced very shortly. Bring your own chalk, or just turn up and we will provide some. Free for all to join.

Hollaback Sheffield:

“We thought we’d celebrate Tramlines by raising awareness of street harassment here in Sheffield and reclaim the streets where we have been followed, insulted, harassed or assaulted. Let’s show that street harassment is a real problem but one that we are going to fight!

Hope you can make it!”


‘Some of us know, no matter who you are or where you come from, that the simple act of walking in public can get scary at the drop of a hat. We’ve been followed, insulted, harassed or even assaulted by people who do what they do because they think we don’t belong on the street. Well, they’re wrong, and we deserve better.

A Chalk Walk is your way to Hollaback!, your chance to turn the tables.
A Chalk Walk is you reclaiming the street, your freedom.
A Chalk Walk is you healing yourself, telling the world, “I have the right to be here. To be me. To walk wherever, whenever, however I please.”

So bring a piece of chalk with you the next time you’re out walking. Write a message to the person who tried (and FAILED) to intimidate you. And submit or tag a photo of your #chalkwalk to ours…

We Chalk Walk against street harassment, sexism, racism, LGTBQIA-phobia and gender-based violence.
We Chalk Walk to show we share the streets and that we’re all in this together.’ -



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LaDIYfest Presents… Sounds Of Love

We’re holding a special tribute gig and total mega party to celebrate the beautiful bellows of Kate Bush.

It will involve:
– Kate Bush cover songs
– Kate Bush dance moves
– Kate Bush party games
– Kate Bush fancy dress
– Kate Bush


Saturday 27th September, at The Redhouse, 8pm – late (FB event)

£4 suggested donation (but no one will be turned away for lack of funds).


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(Please note: the views, experiences and positions expressed within this blog post are those of the author(s) alone and do not necessarily represent the views of everyone involved in the LaDIYfest collective.)

A guest post from April Showers.

Dolly Parton’s performance which beckoned the end of this year’s Glastonbury seems to have captured the nation’s imagination. Although the majority of the UK were with Dolly, some were not. One of the individuals not so hot on Parton’s performance was comedy writer and creator of Father Ted, Graham Linehan, who tweeted a link to the attire she wore on the day, commenting:

“Riiight. And how about the fact that she’s completely f***** up her face.”

He then added;

“Amazing how many supposed feminists are OK with women mutilating themselves in order to meet some f***** up standard of beauty.”

Linehan understandably received large amounts of criticism from Feminists and Dolly Parton supporters. In addition to this he went on to explain his feelings on her plastic surgery, describing the singer as “unintentionally looking like a lizard.”

Father Ted

Father Ted protesting

Here, as Feminists and humanists, we are informed by Linehan that we are ‘doing’ feminism all wrong by not taking his comedy cue and laughing at Parton. By our disregard for forming our opinion on a woman’s look, we ourselves become culpable.

Within these exchanges, Linehan’s followers placed the focal point on the ethics of plastic surgery rather than the initial inflammatory comment, naming Feminists to blame from the start. The obvious point screams “IT’S HER CHOICE, BRAINIAC”, this is what I admittedly actually tweeted Linehan myself, he and his troops came back at me. I was in debate now about plastic surgery, because plastic surgery and feminism are mutually exclusive issues, right? He replies that Michael Jackson, or as he respectfully calls him, “Jacko”, was the same with his extreme work and that there is no difference to demean him or Parton in this regard.

Here, I politely point out that ideology wasn’t placed upon Jackson’s surgery. To my mind what is taking place is more worrying in that, because Dolly is a woman, she is then a Feminist, or concerned with Feminist ideals. So, here we have a statement which face-shames and also makes a claim that if you as a Feminist disagree then you are concerned with the unethical treatment of Parton. There is only one way to grow old and there is only way to be concerned with the freedom of women. Yes all women, even aged 65+ country singers.

What is systematically failed to be comprehended by Linehan and his helpers is the notion that ‘large’ amounts of plastic surgery does not always equate to being mentally un-fit. Dolly is still yet to hold her first born out of a balcony, make an infantilised theme park in her garden or take a daily cocktail of pharmaceutical drugs, etc, etc, etc – call me a bleeding heart liberal but these behaviours are still not systemic of a plastic surgery induced meltdown. There are many differing reasons why she would want plastic surgery. While I agree there are probably doctors who profiteer on the insecurities of women (as well as men) I could never make such a sweeping generalisation that anyone who engages with it to an extent which is noticeable is then an “unempowered” individual.

Plastic surgery, like beauty is within the eye of the beholder. If Parton is happy with Parton’s reflection then that is up to her, only she would ever know. If she isn’t then I reiterate, that is up to her. Some men will not be happy with how they look, or prefer a different aesthetic, funny how whenever a woman is to be seen as too ‘extreme’ everyone sits up and pays notice, framing the actions within the context of a mental “inability”.

1Screen Shot 2014-07-02 at 14.52.50

Performance Artist and icon, Amanda LePore, wanted to create herself as the perfect woman, self-entitled “The most expensive body on Earth”. She and, arguably, Parton have cultivated a look which seeks to establish an identity onto the looker. Like clothes, some people play with their skin in the quest to be who they want to project. This idea of extreme is a completely contested area, most “work” goes un-noticed, unless there are multiple accounts of such “bad” surgery or an “extreme” aesthetic being produced out of choice, can we then only make an informed opinion on if someone is deemed to have gone under the knife or not. If someone has small implants placed rather than large ones, as well as lots of other less prominent amounts of work, are they deemed problematic? No, mainly because it isn’t understood to be “extreme”. I have many friends, for example, with breast implants, the majority of whom prefer their breasts to look “fake”, whereas only the minority want them to “pass”. Here we see surgery going noticed/un-noticed. A preference to the sort that causes the on-looker less anxiety. It isn’t the woman’s hang up, it’s theirs.

I can’t say that large amounts of work has particularly appealed to me, but nor can I say that I have never wanted some work done. I, in part, agree with some of the Linehan concerns of women feeling like they have to be ‘a certain way’, due to a unrealistic female body image which is genetically far from many of us, of course I do, and the Feminist ideal is involved in that engagement as ever. What it categorically is not is the belief there is one way to be a woman, one way to play with identity and, ultimately, one way to be a Feminist. Let’s say for instance that doctors will mislead women into making choices, emphatically it is still their choice.

Amanda LePore

Amanda LePore

This is an argument used against fraudulent benefit claims, let’s rid society of the welfare system because a few may incorrectly receive them – let’s blame the system and not the ones mistreating it! It makes little to no sense. There will be unethical practitioners, there will be mentally unwell patients. We cannot advise as Feminists that all are in the same mucky boat and as such we have to “save” all women from the ever-calling knife. Even if we should, is laughing at someone’s appearance realistically the best way to go about it?

A way of proving this point to anyone who would listen is to think of the amount of times in the media where a woman has been accused of undergoing plastic surgery against the times a man has endured the same criticisms. Has the man had his mental health debated? If a male actor loses weight for a role, is he accused of becoming an anorexic or as deeply insecure? -The male model will not undergo the amount of bile as that of the woman. This is another method of minimising the woman’s agency by the choices she has made. This sort of finger-pointing is endemic, produced by both men and women and, in this case I am sad to say, Linehan.

There is another thing to add and to warn about when opening up the muddy channels of communication that is Twitter, in that some people on this platform are continually allowed to get away with hateful and passive behaviour, turning to their peers, famous or otherwise, for affirmation.

People are likely to disagree with many of the things I say and have claimed to within this post. The difference is when someone like me speaks against someone such as Linehan, they possess seemingly endless followers sent like canon-fodder to appease their owner. The Caitlin Morans and the Charlie Brookers of the Twitterati world are understood to be impenetrable. They aren’t. Admittedly, if you speak out you will probably get a lot of hassle for little return. For the majority of the time this interaction will permeate solely from bullies, twits and the type of people who slut-shame/face-shame. Without becoming a round the clock keyboard warrior, we can out these people for their misgivings – if public debate is to take place, then public reflection should too. They will have these debates tested, as will you. It can, but not always, create for a stronger idea and add proof to your instinct, if not then re-think. Twitter in that respect keeps me on my toes and I love it for it. I completely understand why some do, but I no longer fear Twitter.

I am not taking offence on Parton’s behalf, nor am I one of those people who refuse to enjoy the works of someone who does or says something completely irreprehensible. I am just deeply disappointed with someone I always found to be entertaining, being an avid fan of his shows, I will carry on watching them. Maybe it was just misguided, perhaps it was hateful? What if Linehan is much like the characters in Father Ted and is too entrenched in Feck and Garls for his own good? In any case, I still find him to be amusing and I will continue to follow him on Twitter.

He wasn’t my Jesus and never will be, this is the nature of received idols I guess. They are people too, not role models. This is a good way of maintaining that, remembering their public mistakes and refusing to engage in them within our own private lives. Then Feminists create on the ground the respectful engagement with our past and future acquaintances. Where these Twitter characters exist, they will each rise and fall with their followers; deified beyond criticism and without clear reason for such devotion.

Followers are not equal to your ethical reach.

Feminism is the radical concept that women are people, plastic surgery or not.


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GIG! Los Cripis + Dog Legs + Elopes + Autobodies 11/7

It’s been a while since we did a gig, so here is one, in two weeks time!

Come to the Redhouse on Fri 11th July for an evening of messy lo-fi pop music:

Los Cripis

Dog Legs



£4 suggested donation on the door but no one will be turned away for lack of funds.

If you are new to LaDIYfest or wanting to get involved, this will be a really awesome relaxed evening to get to know people and have some fun so do come along!!



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Save The Date: LaDIYfest Sheffield 2014!

We can finally announce the date for this years big event:


We will be holding a day of workshops at The Quaker Meeting House followed by an evening of live music and dancing at The RedHouse.

There will be loads of information still to announce, obviously the sessions and bands, but also who we will be fundraising for this year.

More to follow soon…

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