FemFest offers a feminist alternative to Coachella

On Saturday, the USC Women’s Student Assembly will be hosting the fourth annual FemFest, a feminist music festival. Falling on the same weekend as Coachella, this festival isn’t anywhere near the desert, but it does have an important message.

FemFest advocates creating a safe, welcoming and comfortable atmosphere for all people. The festival, founded by USC alumna Kaya Masler, is the rebuttal to a male-dominanted music industry. In addition to introducing an alternative to the cisnormative campus culture, FemFest will offer awareness to students on feminist politics and provide a space that promotes and encourages a more intersectional identity within the USC community.

Located on campus at E.F. Hutton Park, this event is free to all USC students. FemFest will feature a range of musicians, from solo artists to bands, including students from the Thornton School of Music. This year’s lineup includes performances from Chastity Belt, MUNA, Gypsum, The Real Niña Dioz, Minimall, The Unending Thread, Spritely, Nightjars, Jensen McRae, Analiz and Madison Douglas. True to the event’s title, all artists schedule to perform are female.

FemFest emphasizes a lack of diversity within the music industry and is meant to call attention to those who have felt marginalized. While this is a feminist-oriented event, it is not meant to alienate any group or gender; rather, it aims to promote equality for all. According to Vanessa Diaz, executive director of USC Women’s Student Assembly, FemFest centers around a the question: “How can we create a space where we can celebrate these artists?”

This core theme of an all-inclusive festival highlights artists for their accomplishments and is meant to serve as a safe place free of judgment and denigration. Along with music, FemFest will feature a different assortment of art stations around the venue, in addition to an art gallery that will include contributors spanning all across campus, displaying diverse art innovations.

The event is open to the public. USC students must show their ID, while non-USC guests must RSVP through Eventbrite, showing a confirmation along with an ID. The festival runs from 5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.