“we hope to educate and empower other women to enter the music industry and take it down from the inside”

Fighting talk if ever I heard it and a call to arms by Ashley Stein, co-founder of Edinburgh’s DAREFest. For one day only at The Wee Red Bar, on the 23rd September, Scotland’s Riot Grrrls will unite for a series of one off workshops and live shows. Showcasing the talent of bands such as Edinburgh’s Fistymuffs, Lou McLean, Misc. Meat and headliners The Violet Kind, the live show takes place in the evening from 7:30pm. Prior to that there’s a host of cool af riot grrrl workshops to take your fancy, including: DIY Tour Management, to teach bands and would-be booking agents how to create and run a UK tour. This workshop is delivered by Ashley Stein.  This sounds like a highly valuable workshop for female musicians, because in my experience knowledge is power and there are so many men in the industry who will make you feel stupid if you don’t know what you’re doing yet. And let’s face it, no one knows what they are doing to begin with. It’s an opportunity to ask questions from this Girls Rock School alumni mentor. This reminds me, I am off to see Kate Nash on Friday, who has also taken part in Rock ‘n Roll Camp For Girls summer camps in the US. These event prove invaluable, so if you can get to any, do so.

Next up there’s the opportunity to do a workshop on Feminist Pin Badge Making!.. which sounds like so much fun! This workshop is presented by the Speaking Out Project (Women’s Aid): Run by the amazing Speaking Out Project this badge making workshop brings the DIY aspect of any movement to DAREFest. Get involved and create your own empowering pins! Women’s Aid is a UK based domestic violence charity who I have encountered before. They run the Freedom Programme which helps abused women escape and heal from domestic violence. Anything you can do to support them is fantastic and they are the people to turn to in the UK if you or someone close to you is facing abuse from an intimate partner.

The final workshop of the day is called How To Be A Badass: Verbal & Emotional Self-defence For Women. Presented By co-founder of DAREFest Lou Mclean: This workshop will discuss different issues experienced by women in music, and beyond and how to address them with confidence. Personally, I would love to be at this workshop. I feel like I need to be more badass again. Putting yourself out there with your music can be at times terrifying. It can make you feel so vulnerable to be on stage singing your soul out to an audience of strangers. And this is before you encounter the sexist sound engineer or fellow musicians. So anything you can do to grow your resilience can only be a good thing in terms of your music career and enjoyment of life as a gigging musician.

So I guess what I am saying is, if you are in the vicinity of Edinburgh (or within travelling distance) on 23rd September, you should haul your arse down to The Wee Red Bar (74 Lauriston Place, Edinburgh EH2 9DF.) DAREFest starts at Midday sharp. It goes on until 5pm. Then there is a break, presumably so people can go off and eat dinner… then it’s back to the same venue for the live show, featuring the riot grrrl bands mentioned above from 7:30pm. Sounds like a cracking way to spend the day… if only it was closer to Chester I would go!

“Having benefitted from the supportive, creative space which [Girls Rock School] have provided, we are hoping that this event will push it even further than just the music scene. We want to show women that they
shouldn’t hold themselves back because of societal expectations of how we should act.” Lou Mclean, co-founder of DAREFest.

 According to the press release, overall, the purpose of the event is to provide a space for all women to learn from each other’s skills and experiences, in order to apply it to their own passions. We also hope that they can network, pass on their own skills & experiences and help to create change in their communities, in Scotland, and beyond.


Tickets are available through Eventbrite and vary in price. Attendees are advised to contact the organisers if they are in need of concession tickets because money should be no obstacle to joining in. Tickets are on sale now! DAREFest is open to all women and is trans inclusive.


Donate to us through BT MyDonate

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.