Musical fundraiser Ladyfest set for last weekend in September


Ladyfest MV Music Festival is back and ready to raise awareness and funds for Connect to End Violence, a M.V. Community Services program. The mission of Connect is to reduce domestic and sexual violence on Martha’s Vineyard by changing the social norms through education, advocacy, and community mobilization, and providing crisis intervention services for victims. Funding is provided by organizations such as the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Massachusetts Office of Victim Assistance, Victims of Crime Act, Violence Against Women Act, and from private contributions, like that of Ladyfest.

“Ladyfest does so much for us. We are eternally grateful,” Jennifer Neary, program director of Connect, said. “Last year Ladyfest raised $25,000. These funds specifically help with stabilization support for survivors who are trying to live a life free from abuse, by easing some of their financial burdens — rent, food, utilities, and other needs. But the awareness this event brings is so important as well. Even if someone isn’t in need, they may know someone who is.”

Ladyfest was co-founded by Kelly Firetag and Rose Guerin in 2017, along with the support of the Ritz Cafe owner, Larkin Stallings. The annual music festival is held on Circuit Avenue in Oak Bluffs, and features artists from several genres, including rock, soul, electronic, and pop. This year’s event begins at 5 pm on Saturday, Sept. 30, and runs until 11 pm. There are several stages, allowing musicians to perform simultaneously, and community members a chance to catch a variety of performances.

At this writing, the lineup of musicians who will perform on the Ritz Stage include Missis Biskis at 5 pm, Jemima James at 6 pm, Maryse Smith and the Off Island Boys at 7 pm, Dwight and Nicole at 8 pm, and Rose Guerin, Dock Dance Band, and special guests at 9 pm. On the Post Office Square Stage, audience members can catch Lucy Mayhew at 5:30 pm, the Outskirts at 6 pm, Big Weather at 7 pm, and Emily Hunsaker at 8 pm. There will be an afterparty at the Ritz with DJ Pretty Ninja and DJ Charlotte Anne Bole. Artisans and vendors will also be in attendance, selling food, clothing, artwork, and more. Ladyfest is a grassroots fundraiser, and asks for a suggested donation at the entrance.

Ladyfest, Saturday, Sept. 30, 5 pm, Circuit Avenue in Oak Bluffs.