LaDIY Does Tramlines – What To Watch 2015!

It’s that time of year again when Sheffield gets taken over by the sprawling behemoth that is Tramlines – this year over the weekend of July 24th-26th we suggest you check out some of the following bands on the main line up.

Beth Frisby
Charlotte OC
Robyn Sherwell

Basement Jaxx
Billie Black
Emily May
Hannah Lou Clark
Marika Hackman
Martha Reeves
Rolo Tomassi
Seven Torrs
Slow Club
This Is The Kit

Bartholins Gland
The Big Moon
Josey Rebelle
Kate Tempset
Kid Wave
Nat Johnson
Neneh Cherry
Stealing Sheep

You should also go have a peer at what’s going on at the Picture House Social where you can catch a fringe event and expect to see The Wharves, Feature and Cowtown!

Anything else you’re looking forward to we’ve missed, let us know!

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Foodbank Collections at TAAE – Launch 3rd July!

Big news! LaDIYfest, the Audacious Art Space (TAAE) and The Sheffield Food Collective (SFC) have decided to team up and start a food bank drop-off point at the space. Starting from the launch at the TAAE/LaDIYfest Massicot gig on Friday July 3rd, you will be able to bring items to the space for the Sheffield Food Collective to distribute to the local independent food banks they support in Parson Cross, Firth Park and Fir Vale. These food banks are community-run, and provide unlimited access to anyone who turns up.

Rates of food poverty all over the UK have risen rapidly in recent years, with the Trussell Trust reporting a 19% increase in uses of their food banks over the past 12 months alone. Many people are left unable to afford to eat as a result of delayed benefits payments, Job Centre sanctions, or simply because of low income.

Sheffield is no different. In fact, it has some of the most deprived wards in the country, as well as stark levels of inequality between different areas of the city. The number of food banks here has shot up, from three in 2011, to sixteen today.

Food banks are a feminist issue. Domestic violence is one factor which can lead to people needing to use food banks, while women are disproportionately affected by food poverty because they still tend to be more responsible for childcare. Single parent families are twice as likely to live in poverty as couples, and this remains a concern for feminists when 89 per cent of single parents are women. Women are more likely to go hungry to feed their children even if they do have a partner, and the difficulties of getting back into work caused by taking time off for maternity leave in a sexist society can compound the causes of food poverty. As the Albert Kennedy Trust reported earlier in the year, LGBT people make up 25% of the homeless population – another group which often depends on the support provided by food banks. No-one should have to use food banks, especially not in a country as wealthy as the UK.

The Sheffield Food Collective was set up in 2014 in response to the local effects of this crisis. While they recognise that “‘solving’ the issue of food poverty will be a top-down, policy led change”,  in the meantime, we need to make sure that people have enough to eat. SFC have done some phenomenal things in the short period of time since they started working with primary food banks run by local faith-based organisations, including raising just under £3,000 to support banks through sixteen gigs and events, and collecting a truly impressive 400kg of food donations.

They tell us that this year they have big plans to do even more, including organising two community job clubs, running cooking clubs to help people learn how to cook healthy and affordable meals while making friends, and hosting more live music events to raise funds and raise the profile of the food bank network. They’re also keen to collaborate with organisations, promoters, venues, and anyone else with skills, ideas, space, or enthusiasm to contribute – so if you like the sound of this, get in touch.

What we like about the Sheffield Food Collective is that they help anyone in need. By contrast, many organisations in Sheffield and around the country, while doing great work, use a ‘voucher’ system, meaning that people can only access food if they’ve been referred by a local agency. When, as the stats above show, it’s those same agencies causing a major chunk of the problems that make food banks necessary in the first place, we wanted to give our support to an organisation which doesn’t do that.

Now: we want your donations!

Specifically, we want non-perishable items, that are unopened and in date.

Here’s a shopping list from the Trussel Trust which you can use for ideas. Sugar, fruit juice, pasta, tinned tomatoes, cereal and tea bags are all great things to donate. We’d also like to collect sanitary items for menstruators. You will be able to bring these to all future gigs at the space.

We’re so excited to be teaming up with an organisation as amazing as Sheffield Food Collective, and we hope that friends of LaDIYfest and Audacious will be as keen as we are. Get involved and tell your mates, and come to the launch on the 3rd – with your donations!


Image: Laura Burn Acaster of Sheffield Food Collective stands next to shelves of different tinned foods collected for Sheffield food banks. Photo via Sheffield Green Party.

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What We Did On The Weekend – Queerfest Leeds and Ladiyfest Redhouse Gig

The Nervy Betters at Queerfest Leeds, 13 Jun 15. Photo by James Robert Birtwhistle

The Nervy Betters at Queerfest Leeds, 13/06/15. Photo by James Robert Birtwhistle

❤❤❤ QUEERFEST LEEDS 2k15 ❤❤❤
A bunch of stray Ladiyers wandered to Leeds for the Saturday of Queer We Go’s Queerfest. We came to do some DJing, playing and talking (as well as dancing, band-watching, dancing, glittering, vegan-nom-consuming, learning, dancing and well you get the picture)… and we did not leave disappointed! The event ran really smoothly and it seemed like there were always volunteers on hand to staff the door, make sure people got fed, deal with any problems or difficulties that arose etc. Big ups for community spirit and everyone pitching in to make an amazing event!

One of our group, Rachel, was present for some of the daytime workshops and had this to report: “There were so many things on offer and not enough time to do them all in, unfortunately. A self-defence workshop was of great interest to me personally, hitting things should be allowed more often in my opinion. Also enjoyed the Kink 101 workshop, because Queers do kink better than anyone else ;). There were so many other things to do, with screen printing, crafty things and zines galore – could have done with a time machine to have a go at all the wonderful things they had on.”

We caught some awesome bands in the evening that we really enjoyed. Chrissy Barnacle came all the way from Scotland to grace us with her life wisdom of self-love and discovering the real self, as well as mesmerising guitar-fingerpicking and Disney-princess-worthy melodic leaps! Ill from Manchester wowed us with their synthy, disobedient feminist post-punk noise. Particularly impressive were London-folk Shopping, whose angular guitar riffs and infectiously catchy basslines tore the house down. And of course, Martha were the climatic headliners one would expect them to be.. The crowd was a jumping-up-and-down singalong for the most part and the energy was contagious!

Congrats to Danny,  Lói, Lewis and everyone else involved in organising this Queer bonanza… Thank you from the bottom of our tiny hearts for putting on such a wonderful, inclusive, welcoming, nourishing and FUN event, and thank you for asking us to be involved! Thanks to everyone who danced to our cheesey and badly mixed DJ set after the Saturday night bands as well.. It was so so heartlifting and we had hella fun :D


Fresh from their sets at Queerfest, The Nervy Betters (pictured above) and The Living End! joined us on Sunday in Sheffield for a gig. Our beloved John T. Angle and the Spirit Levels opened for this lovely intimate gig at the Redhouse. Big thanks to all who joined us on a sleepy, rainy Sunday. Super special thanks to Danny & all at the Redhouse for being such great hosts, we were very sad to realise it may well be our last gig there for quite some time (or ever!), due to owners Jeff and Tracey’s decision to leave the venue. We thank them for their support for the last couple of years and wish them luck with this next chapter of their lives!

Sat 27th June at Moor Theatre Delicatessen: Peaches Party ft Nine Lives (a collab with LGBT Sheffield featuring Plunge Theatre!!)
Fri 3rd July at The Audacious Art Experiment: Massicot // FEHM // Dead Badgers // Temple Steps (a collab with TAAE)
Friday 17th July also at TAAE: Alimony Hustle / Fever Dream / Dispute Settlement Mechanism

We also encourage you to check out Plunge Theatre’s upcoming show at Theatre Delicatessen, Private View. You can find out more about Plunge Theatre and their show and in our previous blog post(/love letter) about them!

Gold star to anyone who’s made it this far… As always, we welcome contact from new folks looking to get involved with Ladiyfest Sheff, be that in the form of new ideas for events, playing a show, guest blog posts, new causes to fundraise for, or just about anything. If you want to be involved – get in touch! We’re a friendly bunch.

Thanks for reading! xx

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On Football, Feminism, and Not Giving a Fuck

This is a guest post from Geo July, who is a LaDIYfest organiser.

This post was originally written in summer 2014, but I got self-conscious (cos patriarchy innit) and didn’t publish it. Also, the whole Ched Evans shitstorm hadn’t reached Peak Silage at that point, and when it did I was a bit reluctant to write about football – even to think about it, frankly. There’s a lot more I could say here: about football operating as a self-enclosed masculine fantasy, about watching football with a man who has obvious disabilities, about the form of comradeliness you find playing team sports, about the notion of being ‘sportsmanlike’ – but they’ll have to wait for another time. 

I started playing football recently. With some friends, mainly boys, some girls, in a local park. This post is about doing that; about inhabiting what is undoubtedly, even in the world that I move in, the most man-dominated space I’ve been involved in. I thought that I might write a bit about this, because I’ve seen a lot recently about other male dominated-environments – hardcore punk, the music scene more generally, antifa groups, the left in general, cycling – but I’ve not seen anything about football.

So: the first thing I notice is that, with the possible exception of cycling, football is by far the most *visible* world of this kind that I’ve ever participated in. Unless you and your mates are pretty serious, prepared to spend money, and to commit to playing two or three times a week, you play in a park. In public. You walk down there in your jogging bottoms and your trainers or, if you’ve got a bit more serious, your football boots. You realise that even though you’re a committed feminist, you don’t shave your legs, you post about fat-activism on the internet – you can’t remember the last time you went outside without thinking about what you looked like. You’re thinking about it now. Intently. And you can’t shake the feeling, even though you’re trying with all your might – that everyone else is too, and not in a good way.

This feeling is quadrupled when you actually start playing. You’re not very good. You know that, and so do all your team-mates. Even when you’re playing with a group of dudes who largely identify as feminists, who are all delighted that you’re playing, who are all rooting for you from start to finish, you know that you’re not very good. You’re not very good because you didn’t spend every lunchtime, or a few afternoons a week, or even once in a while when everyone else was – kicking a ball about to pass the time. It never once, ever in all the years of childhood and adolescence, occurred to you that you could stand in the middle of a field with a football and say ‘This is mine. I am playing here.’ Not once. So you didn’t play, ever, and you didn’t learn.

And, miraculously, you learn not to care that much. You learn to stop apologising every time you fumble the ball, every time you make a dud pass, every time you let an open goal go to waste. You start to learn that other people make mistakes too. You learn that running into people doesn’t hurt them as much as you worry it will. You learn that being run into doesn’t hurt as much as it looks like it would either. You learn that it hurts for a few minutes, and then you stop caring. You learn that when you start to play football, your legs change shape – your thighs are thicker, the calves chunkier, more muscular. You trust that at some point you’ll stop caring about that, too. You learn not to care if every fucker walking past the pitch can see how poor your ball skills are.

But you can’t help but know that, because you’re the only girl on the pitch, it shows. You might not even be the worst player on the pitch (in fact, one of the ways you keep yourself playing is by pushing yourself to not be the worst person on the pitch) but you still know that any mistakes you make show three times as much. Even amongst people who you know full well passionately wished that they didn’t. Maybe especially amongst them, because you can feel them willing you to succeed, and maybe because people willing you to succeed makes you worse, not better. You don’t know yet if that feeling ever goes away, if you ever do get to a point where you can truly play a game of football and really, genuinely, feel that being a woman doesn’t matter. But you really really hope so. And you think more than anything else that the only way that can ever happen – if not for you then at least for your children, if you have any. At least for my cousin, who’s nine now and already neurotic about her weight, already neurotic about how her body looks to other people – is to keep fucking doing it. To keep going out there and making yourself visible, and learning not to care, and learning that this stuff is actually really *fun* – and to take those spaces back.

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So…..body hair….?

** TRIGGER WARNING for Trichotillomania/hair-pulling**

How do you feel about shaving? Waxing? Hair removal cream? Plucking?

  • Do you enjoy having smooth legs and/or armpits?
  • Do you feel pressured into removing hair, by family, friends, or media representations of flawlessly smooth limbs?
  • Or do you feel shamed into not shaving by people who insist that you shouldn’t do it?
  • Do you feel judged for shaving/not shaving? Do you feel that you really have a choice?

We’re hoping to put together some quotes (from people of all genders) about experiences with body hair and hair-removal, for a stall we’re hosting at the Peaches Party on Saturday 27th June – and possibly for inclusion in a zine.

The aim of the endeavour is to get a broad range of opinions and experiences, with the overall message that personal choice is what matters, whether that choice is to remove some hair, all hair, or no hair. We’ve no intention of shaming anyone for the choices they make, or choices they feel that they don’t have.

If you’re happy to share your thoughts, ideas and experiences with us, we’d love to read them! Please post in the comments here, on our Twitter feed with the hashtag #hairysubject, or in a private message to our Facebook group. Please be aware that we might use your quote on a poster or in a zine – and if you’d like us to use your quote without including your online name, just let us know.

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LGBTQI Party! Plunge Theatre meet LaDIYfest! Exciting times ensue!

We’re excited to announce that not only are Plunge Theatre putting on a show in Sheffield, but they’ve asked LaDIYfest to join them for their after-show discussions – AND are joining us at the Peaches Party with LGBT Sheffield!

Plunge Theatre Poster

Fierce, Feminist, and surrounded by cakes.

So, who are Plunge Theatre? They are Izabella, Tutku and Lilly, three London-based twenty-something ladies who put on immersive theatrical experiences, full-length shows and workshops on issues including body image, food, hairiness, and street harassment. They want to put on a show – but also to hear from women about their own experiences and their take on the issues at stake.

To that end, they will be joining LaDIYfest in hosting booths at The Peaches Party on Saturday 27th June at the Moor Theatre Delicatessen – the event is the evening part of LGBT Sheffield‘s Pinknic (sorry for the plethora of links – but do take a look at them!), a family-friendly LGBTQI event which will take place during the day in the Sheffield Peace Gardens.

That evening, LaDIYfest and Plunge will be in the front room of the Moor Theatre Deli, offering information, conversation, and the chance for a distinctly unsensible makeover, including (and possibly not limited to) face paint, moustaches, and fuzzy fake body hair. It’ll be a chance to take a lighthearted look at the expectations and ideals we have around our appearances – with pressure from some media to be completely shaven, and pressure from others to look “natural”, we want to talk about both and help to empower people to find what they enjoy and are comfortable with, and to celebrate it.

Attendees are invited to give donations at the door, but you’ll be welcome to come by and celebrate with us with or without donating. (Donations will go towards costs for the night, and any excess will be rolled over and used at future events.)

BUT THAT IS NOT ALL! Plunge will be performing their show Private View at the Moor Theatre Delicatessen, from Thursday 2nd July to Saturday 4th, and tickets are £7, or £5 for concessions (including students). In their own words:

Part love song and part hate mail, Izabella Malewska, Tutku Barbaros and Lilly Pollard are ready to confront the addictive and futile pursuit for perfection. From the f-word to selfies to panic googling acne cures to extreme diets, this performance piece gazes both inwards and outwards as three friends attempt to beat, or at least tussle with, their personal demons in a search to find their true selves.

This dark and comic show is not pretending to be the solution to the ruthless ideals that society forces on women, nor is it promising to offer clarity on how to navigate modern femininity; It is just three girls inviting you to join their attempt to discover what being a woman in 2015 means to them, digging deeply through a surmounting pile of wax strips, celery sticks and Beyoncé CDs on the way.

After of their shows at the Theatre Delicatessen, one or two members of LaDIYfest will join the ladies of Plunge on a panel which will take questions from the audience, and talk about any ideas, queries or quandaries they raise. These will be nights of fun and thoughtfulness, and it’d be great to see you there.

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All Grrrl Band All Dayrrr – An Update

So as we posted recently, the RedHouse is going to be changing management mid August, and sadly for us, things are looking too uncertain to go ahead with planning to hold our event there on Sunday August 30th. Big sorrys to people we had asked so far, hopefully we will plan to hold the event again later in the year!

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