This autumn we’re taking Women of the World around the UK, giving you the opportunity to experience WOW Spirit festivals in Perth, Exeter, Bradford and Cardiff.
A Southbank Centre initiative funded by Spirit of 2012, WOW Spirit takes Women of the World to areas of the UK where a lack of cultural infrastructure along with limited access to resources, and restricted opportunities for female leaders have proved barriers to community cohesion.
Each of these touring festivals is based on ideas raised at a series of planning sessions called ‘think-ins’, at which everyone is welcome to share ideas and suggestions to help make sure WOW addresses issues of local importance.
Through building new festivals across the UK, women, men, girls and boys (including some of the most marginalised voices in society) are able to get actively involved in their local communities. And as programmers, volunteers and participants, they can help create a fairer, happier society.
Here’s a little more about where you can find WOW Spirit festivals this coming autumn.
WOW had its Scottish premiere in 2017 with WOW Perth. The packed festival programme that year included First Minister Nicola Sturgeon in conversation, a discussion with journalist Kirsty Wark, a menopause cafe, and comedy shows, panel talks, speed mentoring and more.
This year WOW Perth returns for a weekend of healthy debate, talks, music, activism, mentoring, pop-ups and performance. From Karachi to Beijing, to Melbourne to Hull, since its inception, WOW has become a global network, and Perth is well and truly part of the movement.
WOW had its first sell-out festival in Exeter in 2017, with a packed programme that included beat-boxing, comedy workshops, panel talks, speed mentoring and early morning yoga. A year on we return to Devon for more of the same.
Bringing together artists, writers, politicians, comedians, activists, the second annual WOW Exeter event takes place across three venues, RAMM, Exeter Phoenix and Exeter Library.
Join us in West Yorkshire for a weekend of talks, discussions, music, activism, performance, mentoring and big ideas. WOW Bradford will hear from women who are breaking the mould in science, entrepreneurship, the arts, sport, economics, health and business.
There will be sessions on everything from personal lives through to global concerns, including race, body image, violence against women and girls, religion, the role of men in gender equality, and a special one off set from Kate Tempest.
For the first time WOW heads to the Welsh capital, descending on Chapter Arts Centre for the inaugural WOW Cardiff with a festival that will include discussions on Grenfell and Aberfan and speakers Charlotte Church and Michael Sheen.
WOW Cardiff will present the very best of recognised and emerging female talent across all fields including politics, the arts, economics, fashion, science, health, sport, business and education. And will encourage participation through talks, debates, performances, gigs, free music, a marketplace, exhibitions, workshops, networking opportunities and more.
28 - 30 September - WOW Perth
11, 13 & 14 October - WOW Exeter
RAMM, Exeter Phoenix and Exeter Library
16 - 18 November - WOW Bradford
Kala Sangham Arts Centre and Bradford Cathedral
23 - 25 November - WOW Cardiff
Chapter Arts Centre
all four festivals funded by Spirit 2012