Absolutely incredible trip to Denmark – a trip filled with love, positivity, growth, new risk, crowdsurfing and inspiration from Princess Nokia, Young MA, Bush Tea and Solange. Shout out to Roskilde Festival for setting an example of how to design safe and enjoyable spaces for people of all gender identities and for striving to create a festival culture for 100,000 people in which sexual harassment is not tolerated. I think they were able to achieve this by having signs that reminded festival goers that harassment is not tolerated and consequently is punished very seriously, and also by weaving into the actual programming of the festival discussions and panels about equality and liberation. Moreover, Roskilde was an example of no-excuses – often times festivals claim that it’s hard to control the behavior of the masses, but as Europe’s second largest festival, it was easy to prove otherwise.
It reminded me a lot of Afropunk. At Afropunk, on the main stages there are huge banners hung up on either side of the stage that say Afropunk’s mantra: “No sexism, no racism, no homophobia, no fatphobia, no ablism, no agism” etc. It is such a powerful reminder to the audience and creates a really liberating and safe experience for all people. I also believe that we are in an age where festival goers vote with their dollar. Womxn, communities of color have more purchasing power than ever, and will spend their money only in places where they feel not only safe and empowered but liberated. As a festival attendee, I always preferred only going to the festivals where I felt that I could be my fullest self and enjoy the experience in way that was conducive to me, without feeling like someone was in my space trying to flirt with me etc and ruin the experience. Therefore, as a performer, I was even more joyful to perform at a festival that created that experience for its audience.
It was amazing that within the same festival I was able to both perform and speak about modern feminism. It’s dope to see so many music festivals moving in the direction of not only having stages for art but also holding spaces for political discussion that question the status quo and unpack problematic social norms. I also loved seeing so many people in the audience come out of their shells and rock out. The Gloria Stage was sold out and it was the biggest and warmest show we’ve ever done. I felt a major milestone on the stage and told the audience – just keep going if you have a vision. Thank you to my day 1 Lara for being my rock the whole week and to the fans in the audience who share our mission of elevating and celebrating voices unheard. This trip marked the halfway point of 2017 and was a major personal milestone in my journey to build a vision I’ve had for a long time to life. #thefutureisfemale 🇩🇰💛✈️