Lilith fair logo: Celebration of Women in Music

Lilith Fair wraps up 2010 tour, announces 2011

Last night was the final show of the 2010 Lilith Fair Tour. I was lucky enough to be in attendance. While I didn’t go to the first round of Lilith Fair in the 90s, I had heard much about the tour and was eager to check it out this time around.

There was some buzz early on about the charity portion of the tour and whether groups like crisis pregnancy centers or Planned Parenthood would be included. In the end they were both dropped. The show I attended in the DC area benefited WEAVE, a domestic violence organization.

Lilith Fair was started in 1997 by Sarah McLachlan as a “celebration of women in music.” The tour acknowledges the barriers faced by women artists in securing shows, particularly in large venues. So a group of women musicians teamed up to co-headline a tour. In it’s first run, it was one of the most successful music festivals of all time.

While I enjoyed the show overall, especially the performance by Missy Higgins, one of my favorite musicians and an awesome queer woman from Australia, I had a few misgivings.

I was a bit turned off by the heavy corporate sponsorships (we even watched a new ABC sitcom on the big screens between acts) and the line-up remains lacking in diversity. All the main stages acts in the Maryland show last night were white, and the majority of the secondary stage acts were too. The national line-up featured some big name artists of color (like Mary J. Blidge, Jill Scott, Erykah Badu) but the line-up for each individual show did not necessary feature any of those artists.

It’s mostly just disappointing that it couldn’t better reflect the diversity of women musicians out there (at least not at the Maryland show).

Sarah McLachlan has announced that Lilith will be happening again next summer, so stay tuned to see what happens next year.

Did you attend Lilith Fair this year? What did you think?

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