Saturday, April 13, 2019

A to Z Challenge--Day #12--L--Lilith Fair

I had to think about this one a little bit. I know there are overwhelming criticisms about Lilith Fair, both past and present, many justified, and I'm not here to drag any particular artist, and I'm not going to get into everything. A lot of my posts here are music related for a reason. I liked, nay loved, still love, a lot of the music of the decade. Some pop, some alternative, some metal, I'm eclectic that way. I think Lilith Fair started off with good intentions. It was supposed to be a celebration of women in music, and their accomplishments and contributions. I don't see anything wrong with that. We celebrate women in the arts all the time, women in film, women visual art, dance, etc. Women music festivals were really where stuff was happening. Usually there's one in every state, at least in their heyday there used to be, like Shakespeare Festivals. It was just this huge gathering of women and music (and the arts) in all different forms where huge groups of women would form these awesome communities would get together and just jam.
One reason Lilith Fair didn't work, some might argue, was that Lilith Fair was trying to be what the Michigan Womyn's Festival once was, or at least had been at one point. The Michigan Womyn's Music Festival was an annual feminist music festival that began in the mid-70's as a kind of music collective. Everything 70's was cool in the mid to late 90's--mock bell bottoms, denim jackets with patches and daisies on everything especially. (Bell bottoms, for the record, were NOT COOL at the beginning of the 90's, just to be clear. I do not know who makes the rules.) As an echo, the music industry tried to revive Woodstock in the form of Lollapalooza, so that was at least one criticism levied at Lilith Fair. The time had passed for both Woodstock and the Womyn's Music Festival by at least 10-15 years and I think at least part of the problem was that people were trying to take an authentic desire to create community and art combined with activism and turn it into something commercial and artificial. Because how do you balance that? Artists deserve to be paid for their time and their work. So how can you balance sisterhood and activism (which are still important) with people who need to make a living? Also, there was a lot of infighting from the beginning. So everything was doomed from the start. They could have had something better if things were better planned. I think you find audience is better understanding when you communicate with them, an audience/reader/listener/student gets more than you often suppose they do. Without them, you don't have a show. Once in a while I feel like throwing on a Lilith Fair playlist once in a #throwbackthursday. For old time's sake.

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