The Sexist

The Relevance of Lilith Fair In 2010


Yesterday, I appeared on WNYC's "Soundcheck Smackdown" to debate the merits of the floundering 2010 Lilith Fair tour. I took the "it kinda sucks!" position; Marisa Meltzer presented the opposite viewpoint. I'm a big fan of Meltzer's book, Girl Power: The Nineties Revolution In Music, so it was fun. Bonus: at the end of the segment, Meltzer calls out a dude listener for his "patriarchal" dismissal of our youth. The online comments from listeners are interesting, too: Everything from "is there something a little creepy about women of necessity having a commonality, simply based on gender determinism?" to "Younger women have a tendency to be entirely embarrassed of anything explicitly labeled 'feminist' or 'women only' . . . that territory [is] just shy of absolute taboo." Listen here.

  • RMJ

    I agree that there are issues with LF, but I was still really excited to see it in Charlotte... until it was cancelled, along with 15 other stops.

  • emily

    Personally, I think the problem with Lilith Fair 2010 is that the lineup absolutely blows.

  • Em

    Agreed about the lineup.

    Honestly, I think most young women would be insulted by that lineup. Because it's basically pandering, "Oh, look, it's all women! Show up and support feminism!" While I admit to having enjoyed Sarah McLachlan's music, it's by no stretch of the imagination exceptional music. I think she's so focused on keeping with the same musical stylings as the original (and similar to her musical style) than she is on keeping it interesting.

    There are lots of women making exceptional, interesting, cutting edge music. Why not showcase that new, fresh talent instead of playing the same old tired tracks? Give some new female artists a leg up?

  • Stewart

    Agree that the main problem is the lineup, at least for me. Really no surprise that it's struggling in many venues.
    I have no problem with the concept of showcasing women artists but I think they could benefit by reworking it a bit. Lollapalooza started out like gangbusters; crashed, burned, and was dead for a few years; and has been successfully revived as an annual festival in one city - as opposed to a tour. Maybe that's what the Lilith people should do. Have a multi-day festival in one city each year where you invite a wide range of women artists. They would probably be more successful in getting people around the country to make a pilgrimage to one venue for this festival than trying to get sufficient crowds in different cities. And I will bet that there is a much wider and better universe of artists who will commit to a single show than who will commit to an entire tour.