What is women’s music? Well, it’s all music; as evidenced by the lineup for Louisville Outskirts Festival which includes punk, old time, hip hop, experimental, rock and folk.
Carrie Neumayer, Joel Hunt and Stephanie Gary organized Louisville Outskirts, a fest created to support and highlight music made by women in Louisville’s independent music scene as well as female musicians from across the globe. The festival is this weekend, Oct. 10-12.
“Stephanie and I have both been playing music in Louisville’s indie/punk scene for a very long time,” said Neumayer. “For many years, the scene was pretty male-dominated. However, during the last few years, we both started noticing how many more women had become involved and how inspiring and exciting that was.”
“I love that Louisville’s scene has grown to the point that it isn’t so unusual to see bands made up of mostly or all women,” added Gary, who is in the band Julie of the Wolves alongside Neumayer. “We were really enjoying playing shows with other ladies in bands and wanted to experience that on a larger scale.”
The larger-scale performances will be at The New Vintage, with a late night show at The Cure Lounge on Saturday. Both venues have helped with the Louisville Outskirts Festival process, which included fundraising and hosting benefit shows.
There will be at least five bands playing at The New Vintage each night, with three more playing The Cure Lounge Saturday. The organizers found that the band selection process was an interesting task.
“Many of the bands playing this festival are ones we already knew, because our bands had played together or we saw them playing a show and we thought they were great,” Neumayer said. “Some of the bands have important ties to Louisville’s rich music history, and we wanted to make sure to include them.”
“We really wanted to find bands that played a broad variety of styles who would appeal to all different age groups and tastes,” Gary added. “It was important to show that there is no genre of music that can be labeled as ‘women’s music.’”
In addition to presenting music, Outskirts will also be nurturing it with rockshops during the festival. Girls ages 10-18 can learn an instrument, form a band, write a song and perform in front of an audience!
There are 17 local female musicians – including Meg Samples (of The Deloreans and Squeezebot), Cheyenne Mize (also of Maiden Radio), and Carly Johnson (also of Liberation Prophecy) – who’ll teach at the rockshops at Lincoln Performing Arts School.
The organizers find music education for young girls just as essential to the festival as the performances themselves.
“When Outskirts started taking shape, we knew this was the perfect platform,” said Gary.
Neumayer said, “There are many younger girls who might have an interest in playing music, but fear not being ‘good enough’ or worry about their peers might judge them negatively as they try to learn. We wanted to create an environment where girls could feel safe and supported while having fun and learning how to make music together.”