Shout Back! Fest

The anarcha-feminist, queer, radical, anti-capitalist DIY music festival Shout Back! Fest is happening this weekend in Vancouver!  The organizers took some time to tell The F Word about the festival and the radical space it’s making in the community.


The F Word: Why did you decide to run the festival?  What’s up with the “current independent music culture” (as your Facebook page puts it)?


Shout Back: Why… well for me the question is why NOT. There is a growing community of female/queer/trans bands in this city and its incredibly inspiring. It feels like a really good time to start talking about gender politics and to celebrate the diversity of Vancouver’s DIY music scene. It’s also important to recognize that individuals can feel excluded even within “independent” music culture and that patriarchy hurts everyone. We believe that music/noise making is a powerful tool for liberating people from negative gender stereotypes and patriarchal structures, so what better way to prove this than by throwing a little festival!


The F Word: How did you get the festival going?  Is it collective-run?


Shout Back: The idea came up a couple of months ago. Basically a couple of us (organizers) were hanging out at a show talking about how many awesome all-female bands there are in the city right now. There are new bands starting up everyday and we thought it would be cool to throw an event that highlights all of this energy. From then we started meeting as a collective… Two of the core organizers live in a rad artist/punk/feminist house in East Van, so that’s been our unofficial hub!

The F Word: What are some radical aspects of Shout Back! that people can look forward to?


Shout Back: Well, I’d say the music is totally far out radical! A fine mix of folk, punk and everything in-between. The venues are radical too! It’s pretty cool that all spaces are artist/musician collective houses, and streets/parks. In addition to being able to invite all ages, the venues are much more affordable and community-minded than most bars or clubs. Last, but not least, there are going to be workshops on Sunday. Topics include: safer spaces in punk communities, capitalism and patriarchy, zine-making and anarchy is queer. Sounds pretty radical, right?


The F Word: Your wo/man/ifesto is a powerful statement! (We’ll let it speak for itself…)


Shout Back: An anarcha-feminist, queer, radical, anti-capitalist DIY music festival for anyone who wants it or thinks they might want it. A celebration in smashing patriarchy, showcasing artists who are underrepresented. This festival is for everyone who is disaffected or disgusted by the current independent music culture, dominated by straight, white males.


We refuse to adapt and accommodate this inherently oppressive, hierarchical structure. Let’s break the binary and build a new space, one that is safe, and inclusive, based on solidarity. Music for everyone.


We aim to affirm and encourage all artists doing it ourselves and empower us to keep moving forward, doing it together. Creating an environment where we break systemic barriers, help foster conversations and build relationships. Offering resources, workshops, and skill sharing. Solidarity in the struggle. Gender Liberation.


What we have is RADICAL and its time to party HarD.I.Y, shred, sing along, dance our hearts out, be heard, have fun and bring this to all things we do, every action.


Because we agree that patriarchy hurts everyone!
Because we agree that music + noise making are a force for GENDER LIBERATION!

The F Word: Is there anybody you’d like to thank for inspiring the patriarchy-smashing, anarcha-feminist, queer, radical, anti-capitalist DIY work you’re doing?


Shout Back: The name shout back! fest was inspired by Bell Hook’s book “Talking Back”. In the book she talks a lot about how writing is an act of challenging oppression by developing your own voice.  Like the act of writing, I believe that music and noise-making is a very strong method for spreading love, smashing patriarchy and liberating us from gender norms!


On a daily basis I’m inspired by all of the rad cats doing rad work in punk houses like the mansion and thor’s palace… without these folks, this festival would not be possible! And I honestly can’t speak highly enough of Girls Rock Camp Vancouver… they are one of the most important and exciting non-profits in Vancouver and have personally inspired me time and time agian!

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