Change is in the air for Glastonbury. Earlier this week, the founder of the UK festival, Michael Eavis, spoke to ITV News about the possibility of moving Glastonbury from its current home at Worthy Farm to Longleat estate, a stately home, within the next couple years. More imminent, however, is this year's addition of a new women-only venue.
As NME reports, the space, called The Sisterhood, is described by its organizers on Twitter as an "intersectional, queer, trans and disability-inclusive" space open to all people who identify as women." Located at a "secret space" within the festival's Shangri La area, it will host an all-women security crew and DJ lineup as well as workshops on topics such as intersectionality, diversity, inclusion, and DIY power tools.
Organizers explained: "The producers of The Sisterhood believe that women only spaces are necessary in a world that is still run by and designed to benefit mainly men. Oppression against women continues in various manifestations around the world today, in different cultural contexts.
"In the UK, the gender pay gap in the workplace, cuts to domestic violence services and sex worker rights are current talking points that highlight this issue. Sisterhood seeks to provide a secret space for women to connect, network, share their stories, have fun and learn the best way to support each other in our global struggle to end oppression against women and all marginalized people, whilst showcasing the best and boldest female talent in the UK and beyond."
Across the pond, North American festivals have already begun implementing similar spaces for women. In February, summer festival Michigan's Electric Forest announced their first-ever women-only space, HerForest, which will involve panel discussions with female acts on the artist lineup and production team, as well as group-bonding sessions. A further exploration of such spaces found that Canada's Shambhala festival has an all-women space within their Harm Reduction Zone, while other festivals like Fabulosa and (now-defunct ) Michigan Womyns Music Festival were altogether all-women events.
Meanwhile, Glastonbury happens from June 22 to 26 with a staggering Silver Hayes lineup featuring Akase, Craig David's TS5, Julio Bashmore, Palms Trax, Ivy Lab, and more.