'An unapologetically feminist festival' is coming to northern Minnesota

FEmnFEST is all about promoting gender balance in the arts

A new festival that focuses on women artists is coming to the Northland in September. 

It's called FEmnFEST, and hopes to be a weekend of empowerment through music, art, films, workshops and education. The tagline on the site is, "An unapologetically feminist festival."

The event will feature music from Venus DeMars, Superior Siren, Dear Rosetta and Oshkii Giizhik Signers, as well as others to be announced later. There will be educational programs, women-owned vendors, artists and art installations too.

'There needs to be a way for more women to be seen'

FEmnFEST is a nonprofit that tries to promote gender balance in the arts industry, saying women aren't typically well-represented at festivals.

"In the arts, we know there needs to be a way for more women to be seen," Abigail Mlinar, of FEmnFEST, told the Duluth News Tribune. "Arts is such an important way to tell these stories that aren't being told. [We're going to] make a festival that fills in that gap."

According to a 2016 study by the Huffington Post, more than half of all people who attend music festivals are women – but the majority of acts at some big-time festivals are all men. 

Take Lollapalooza for example, where 73 percent of acts last yar were men, 13 percent were mixed-gender groups and 14 percent were only women, the publication says. 

Then you've got the EDM shows, which are even more male-centric. In 2016, Electric Zoo's acts were 94 percent male, while 1 percent were mixed-gender groups and 5 percent were female-only acts, the Huffington Post reports. 

If you want to go

The event was originally slated to be held at the women-owned Food Farm Barn in Wrenshall. 

But organizers on Aug. 14 said it was moving to Duluth. That's because the Food Farm Barn "needs immediate construction to replace the flooring."

So events will be split up. Duluth's Sacred Heart Music Center will hold the main stage, vendors, art, and more. And the Center for American Indian Resources parking lots surrounding Sacred Heart will have the second stage/programming area.

The festival runs from Sept. 15-17. 

Tickets, which range from $50 for a one-day pass, up to $300 for the "Superior Supporter pass." You can buy them online here or by calling 877-4FLY-TIX. 

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