16th Annual Iowa Women’s Music Festival, September 11-12 in Iowa City

iowa womens music fest logoLaurie Haag is a woman after my own heart. I just read this article where she was interviewed about the 16th Annual Iowa Women’s Music Festival and she talks about being the only girl on stage in her band in high school, and one of few women as she continued to play in bands as an adult.  So 16 years ago she helped organize the first women’s music festival in Iowa City and it’s been going strong ever since.  One of their goals is to introduce the audience to new and under-the-radar artists, much like one of my goals of this blog and the Lyrical Venus Radio Hour!

I’ve been to the Iowa Women’s Music Festival the past two years and loved it both times.  The stage is set up in a park across from Hancher, it’s under the trees, small enough to feel intimate and not get too crazy, but big enough to be fun and festive.  Sign Language interpreters are there, as well as food and craft vendors.  September is just about one of the best months in Iowa and spending a whole afternoon outside listening to great music for free sounds like my kind of day!

Laurie is going to call in to the Lyrical Venus Radio Hour this Tuesday 9/8/09 around 9:15 to tell us a little about the festival.  Tune in to KRUU-LP 100.1 FM here in town or kruufm.com online anywhere!  I’ll play a few songs by some of the performers, plus some songs about the sun in honor of KRUU’s solar panels going live on Wednesday 9-9-09!

I’m including the press release for the festival because I think it says it all.  Read on for details about the performers and to find out about the other events surrounding the main afternoon of performances.  I’ve linked up all the artist’s names, so even if you don’t live in Iowa, you can still check out their websites and find out more about these awesome women!


Shocked’s Americana & Wonderland’s Blues Headline the 16th Annual Iowa Women’s Music Festival Sept. 12 In Iowa City

The REAL thing. Start to finish. That’s the line-up for the 16th Annual Iowa Women’s Music Festival (IWMF), to be held September 11-12 in Iowa City and headlined by the legendary Michelle Shocked and fast-rising blues star Carolyn Wonderland.

The eclectic line-up includes a Grammy nominee (Shocked), an Internet mega celebrity, a master mystical storyteller, and the 2008 Official Texas State Musician (the first woman to be honored). There is music for everyone at the IWMF: jazz, folk, pop, rock, country, Americana, roots, comedy, hip-hop, and the blues, with influences of honky-tonk, soul, and gospel, as well as provocative performance art.

The 2009 IWMF kicks off with a comedy and music show on Friday, September 11 at 7:30 p.m. at Old Brick, 26 E. Market St. in Iowa City, featuring popular Iowa singer-songwriter Lojo Russo and comedian Poppy Champlin from West Hollywood, CA (as seen on cruise lines, on TV, and at top comedy clubs around the nation).

The festival’s traditional main event, the “day stage” in Iowa City’s Upper City Park, comes to life on Saturday, September 12 at noon and continues until approximately 5:30 p.m. The non-stop stage lineup includes (in reverse order) headliner Michelle Shocked, Carolyn Wonderland with Shelley King, Cosy Sheridan, Tracy Walker, and Lynne Rothrock and Friends, with high-energy emcee Kim-Char Meredith.

The festival fun continues indoors at the Mill Restaurant, 120 E. Burlington St. in Iowa City at 8 p.m. on Saturday night. The night show is dubbed the “Pop, Hip-Hop & 80’s Dance Party!” The lineup features Kim-Char Meredith, festival emcee, in her own set of high-energy pop and feel-good folk-rock. Ames, Iowa’s own Leslie & the Ly’s take the stage with some of the most provocative and artistic hip-hop around.

Around 10 p.m., the Mill blasts into the 80’s with the retro rock’n’roll, pop, and new wave of the Jodie Foster Connection. A dance floor will be open for attendees to grove to the music. At midnight, the festival closes out with an all-women’s jam, to which festival attendees are able to add their instrument or voice.

The tickets for the Friday night comedy and music show at Old Brick can be purchased at the door for a suggested donation of $8-20 (sliding scale). Proceeds benefit Prairie Voices Productions and will help pay for the operations and performances of this and next year’s festival. Please note: The comedy show may contain adult topics, so parents should use discretion in bringing children. For directions or more information about Old Brick, visit www.oldbrick.org.

The day stage in Upper City Park on Saturday afternoon is free (no tickets required), everyone is welcome, and families are encouraged to attend. Food and merchandise vendors will line the festival, and an auction will be held. Attendees should bring blankets or chairs for grass seating. The park is wheelchair accessible, and the festival performers will be American Sign Language (ASL) interpreted. Pets on leashes are welcome. In case of inclement weather during the outdoor portion of the
festival, the rain location will be The Mill Restaurant in Iowa City.

Admission to the night show at The Mill Restaurant is a sliding scale of $5-15. Attendees are asked to pay what they can to help fund the IWMF for years to come. For directions or more information about the Mill, visit www.icmill.com or call 319-351-9529.

For more information about the events of the 2009 Iowa Women’s Music Festival, or to apply to be a vendor or sponsor, go to www.prairievoices.net, call 319-335-1486, or e-mail festival@prairievoices.net. The festival is also seeking volunteers, who may call Laurie at 319-335- 1486 to sign up.

The mission of Prairie Voices Productions (PVP), the 501(c)3 non-profit organization that produces the IWMF, is to support and promote the work of women artists and musicians through accessible events for the community. PVP also strives to provide women diverse volunteer skill-building experiences in planning, organizing, producing, and implementing major public events such as the music festival.

Laurie Haag, 319-335-1486
Lisa Schreihart, 319-431-0982
Prairie Voices Productions

2 Responses to “16th Annual Iowa Women’s Music Festival, September 11-12 in Iowa City”

  1. Dave Zeman says:

    Got plans… would love to see Michelle Shocked…. does she do house concerts. HA.


  2. Missy says:

    Cool, I love Michelle Shocked!

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