Fem Fest is a mini-music festival featuring female-dominated or supported bands coming locally and out of town to raise awareness of sexual assault and domestic violence and to speak out against it. Fem Fest was held at Test Pattern, located at 701 Trade St. in downtown Winston-Salem. Saturday, Nov. 11 marked the fourth year of Fem Fest and this year was considered the largest and most successful one so far. One-hundred percent of the proceeds from the show went to fundraise for Winston-Salem Family Services. Creator and founder Bryn Fox said that Saturday’s show raised $2,000 for Winston-Salem Family Services, which was double the amount raised in all the previous years.
“The whole show is to promote against sexual assault and domestic violence,” Fox said. “The biggest thing was to showcase music as an outlet for women who have gone through such things.”
Headliners included Winston-Salem’s own Jill Martin-Byers with special guest Nancy Devine, who played at 4 p.m.; North Carolina’s Wahyas, who played at 5 p.m.; North Carolina’s The P-90’s, who played at 6 p.m.; Virginia’s L.A. Dies, who played at 7 p.m.; Virginia’s Ladygod, who played at 8 p.m.; Alabama’s The Old Paints, who played at 9 p.m.; New York’s BOYTOY, who played at 10 p.m.; and Greensboro’s own Bob Fleming and the Cambria Iron Co. played the last set at 11 p.m.
The P-90’s Billie Feather and Wahyas’ Lindsey Sprague have been with Fox since the first Fem Fest and has played every year. Fox said she credits bands like Wahyas and The P-90’s, who are growing in popularity, for giving her the ability to expand and get bands from places such as New York, Alabama and Virginia to play at Fem Fest.
“It has definitely grown every year,” Fox said. “Every year has had an amazing turnout but this year it seems to have spread its radius a little bit further and I think a lot of that is because of previous years and a lot of that is because of the new bands that are coming. One thing about every band I have picked is that they have all played in Winston-Salem before so that people would be familiar with them. This year definitely was the one year where I had to actually tell people I was already booked, so I hope it says good things about next year.”
Fox said for any bands that want to come out and support next year’s Fem Fest, contact her on her Facebook page, @thebrynshow.