Carrie Neumeyer is one of the co-founders, along with Stephanie Gary, of The Louisville Outskirts Festival which will take place at The New Vintage and Art Sanctuary among other locations on Oct. 9, 10, and 11. Laura Shine asked Carrie a few questions, and here are her responses:
What is the Louisville Outskirts Festival?
The Louisville Outskirts Festival is a music festival happening Oct. 9-11. Our purpose is to highlight and encourage music being made by women, trans, and gender non-conforming folks in Louisville and other parts of the country. In addition to our evening shows, we also feature a “Rockshops for Girls” program during the two mornings and afternoons of the festival, which are taught by a number of Louisville musicians. The other organizers are Amber Estes Thieneman, Salena Filichia, Natalie Felker, Erin Fitzgerald, Laura Quimby, Lacey Guthrie, Meg Samples, Jessica Musselwhite, Christy Rhodes, Diane Pecknold.
Who are the headlining acts?
Freakwater, Downtown Boys, The Vallures, and Half-Seas-Over will be closing out each night of the festival. We have a lineup that features many different musical styles, but our artists all share a goal of challenging gender inequality.
What made you want to create this festival and/or be a part of it?
For me, playing music and finding community through music was key in developing self-confidence. When I was growing up, there were just a handful of musical role models who were women to look up to in the scene, but those role models were crucial to making me feel like, “Hey, I could do that.” As I got older, I found more women in Louisville were playing music and really wanted to find a way to be more connected to them. My friend and bandmate in Julie of the Wolves, Stephanie Gary, first brought up the idea for the festival, and it grew from there. We currently have 10 advisory board organizers who have been helping organize the festival this year.
How is music education a part of the festival?
In addition to wanting to have a greater sense of community among our peers, we also wanted to give younger girls an opportunity to take part. We created our “Rockshops for Girls” program that gives girls and gender non-conforming youth ages 10-18 an opportunity to learn the basics of a chosen instrument, join a band, write a song, and perform that song for an audience. It’s important to us that the Rockshops be a safe and supportive environment for nurturing creativity and collaboration. One of our core values is, “We will build each other up and never tear each other down.” The Rockshops showcase will be open to the public this year as the opening act to Sunday’s Outskirts Festival schedule! We plan to expand our program into a weeklong camp called “Girls Rock Louisville” in summer 2016.
What kind of impact do you hope for the festival to have on Louisville?
I hope that everyone who attends the festival will have fun and learn about an artist or band that they weren’t familiar with before, and now love! I hope people who attend/play/volunteer meet like-minded folks to make friends with, work on projects with, or start new bands with. Hopefully some people will learn about a non-profit organization that tabled at the fest that they’d now like to get involved with. I hope everyone who participates and attends feels a greater sense of community. I hope that we can contribute in some small way to challenging gender inequality, patriarchy, and oppression by coming together and sharing a love of music.