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Ladyfest Midwest marks 10th Anniversary with benefit for Chicago Women’s Health Center

By Amy Schroeder

On August 16–19, 2001, people from Iowa to Japan caravanned to the Windy City to experience Ladyfest Midwest Chicago.

Kathleen Hanna of Le Tigre performs at Ladyfest Midwest Chicago in 2001. Photo courtesy of the Christa Holka archive.

They crammed into venues like the Empty Bottle and Congress Theatre to see more than 100 performers including ESG, Le Tigre, the Butchies, and Mary Timony with “her friend James” (Iha). And, depending on how much energy attendees had to spare, they also participated in DIY workshops, fanzine talks, art shows, film screenings, dance performances, activism pow-wows, and DJ dance-offs.

If you were one of the 4,000-plus people who attended, performed, or organized Ladyfest, here’s what we want to know: Can you believe it’s been a decade?

Neither can we.

We, the Ladyfest Midwest organizers, are still wrapping our heads around everything that’s changed in the last 10 years (the Internet is a teenager! We have a new president! And a war that won’t end!), but we’re still totally armed and ready for another round. Which is why we’re organizing a reunion event.

On August 19–21, 2011, you are invited to attend the Ladyfest Midwest Reunion in Chicago to benefit Chicago Women’s Health Center. Right now we’re nailing down details (location, time, bands, and whatnot), and you can keep up with it all here on ladyfestmidwest.com.

We’re also in the thick of creating the Ladyfest Midwest Archive, to pull together photos, writings, interviews, videos, artwork, and more. Got a story or photos to share? Read our submissions info here, and go to our Facebook page to connect with the Ladyfest Midwest community.