USC's FemFest Kicks Off Its Fifth Year Of Celebrating Gender Equality In Music


As festival season blooms again across the country, so does the discussion on gender-equality on each lineup. Major festivals have inched toward progressive standards in terms of booking talent; this year’s Coachella and FYF lineups both have a strong and diverse presence of women-identifying artists, but there’s something to be said about accomplishing it in 2017 when significantly smaller festivals have been realizing the importance of representation and inclusivity for the past five years.

USC may hold a public reputation as a stomping ground for Greek life and Herculean levels of partying, but it’s also where FemFest had its genesis. Frustrated over the traditionally male-heavy and white-dominated lineups, USC alumna Kaya Masler launched FemFest in 2013 as a rebuttal to the university’s main concert event of the season, SpringFest. From its inception, FemFest has worked closely with the Student Assembly for Gender Empowerment (SAGE), whose ethos of intersectionality and inclusivity is firmly planted within the festival through its booking of women-identifying artists.

Where SpringFest locks in massive names (this year boasted Migos and Rae Sremmurd as headliners), FemFest sticks to its roots, finding talent within the city’s thriving music scene.

“I’ve spent a lot of time in the L.A. music scene and there’s so many talented female musicians,” says says FemFest co-director Allegra Rosenberg. “I felt it would be kind of pointless to look outside of L.A. for our headlining and supporting talent when there’s so much good stuff happening right here.”

Returning to EF Hutton Park for its fifth consecutive year, FemFest’s lineup includes jangly electro-pop duo Holychild and haunting singer-songwriter Miya Folick as its headliners, plus sets from melancholy psych-rockers Liphemra, avant-pop singer Alina Bea, and more. “I really wanted to make sure there’s something for everybody at FemFest while the acts embody the spirit of feminist empowerment,” explains Rosenberg.

The festival kicks off tomorrow at 5 p.m. and includes vintage vendors, public art, a button-making pop-up, and like any true L.A. event, an appearance by the Kogi Food Truck. And to top it all off, it’s open to all —non-USC students need only to RSVP through EventBrite.

EF Hutton Park is located at 3551 Trousdale Pkwy, Los Angeles, CA 90089 on USC’s campus.