There’s an industry-wide push toward better gender representation in the typically male-dominated world of music festivals, and long-running Toronto events CMW and NXNE have pledged to reach gender parity in their lineups by 2022. Venus Fest, though, launched last year with a lineup entirely composed of women and non-binary performers right out of the gate, and this year the Toronto festival is doing it again.
Venus Fest 2018 will be headlined by gothy synth-pop singer/songwriter Zola Jesus, fist-pumping Nashville rock trio Bully and poet/electronic/noise/punk/hip-hop/everything-else musicians Moor Mother.
Joining them are a strong group of locals, including a l l i e (whose Nightshade album was one of our favourites of last year), Vallens, Isla Craig, LOOM and TiKA, plus Montreal’s Elle Barbara’s Black Space and Washington, D.C.’s OSHUN.
Last year’s Venus Fest was a one-day event at Daniels Spectrum, but this year the festival debuts a new three-day format at Mod Club and Opera House from September 20-22. Buy early bird wristbands at venusfest.net.
According to a release, this year’s festival, which was founded by Toronto musician Aerin Fogel (of Queen of Swords), aims to “create a new kind of space for artists to thrive in and for community members to attend with a sense of safety.”
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