MOTHERSHIP is the Queer Feminist Music Festival of Your Dreams

When I was growing up I used to say that I wished I had been a teenager in the 1960’s. I thought all the strong activists movements had come to pass. EL OH EL. Obviously, I was wrong. I didn’t even learn the reality of most social justice issues until I was in my 20s. But there’s no way I could have predicted all the social movements that are taking center focus in this day in age. Never has there been a stronger need for activists in the history of America.

When Laura Wise, the founder of MOTHERSHIP contacted me to speak at this year’s festival, I immediately jumped at the opportunity. MOTHERSHIP is the queer feminist answer to non-inclusive music festivals but it’s also just – well – it’s just cool. Cool without trying too hard. Which is tough to come by these days.

The creativity tent at MOTHERSHIP is stocked with art supplies, costumes, and glitter.

Photograph by MOTHERSHIP FEST.

There’s something about MOTHERSHIP that reminds me of a mini version of Woodstock mixed with all your queer sisters dancing in the desert but there’s also something very radical about a group of women coming together to learn about our bodies, minds, and sexuality in a place that’s totally devoid of anything but our own energy and will. At MOTHERSHIP the needs of women come first.

This is MOTHERSHIP’S 3rd year and they’re anticipating the biggest event yet with an estimated 600-800 people in California’s Coachella Valley from October 13-15th. You may remember Laura Wise, who I featured as one of the Queers You Should Know a couple years back. Laura started MOTHERSHIP because she couldn’t find a festival that reflected her values as a queer feminist – so she created her own.

I was a bit too young to have truly appreciated Lilith Fair in its glory days and I would never have attended Mich Fest with its horrendous track record on transgender inclusion. I kinda feel like I missed out on the height of the feminist festival glory days. What I love about MOTHERSHIP is that it’s a modern-day answer to a feminist festival that works for 2017.



MOTHERSHIP is all about the intersection of celebration and education around feminism. Sure, it’s part music festival but it also has panels on everything from beginners feminism to BDSM to digital activism.

I’ll be discussing my book Slacktivist on the Digital Activism Panel with heavy hitters Nicolette Mason, Brittany Ashley, and Stevie Boebi. Online activism is not only real, it’s accessible to people who may not have the privilege of gathering within spaces like MOTHERSHIP. We will be chatting about the effective ways we as a community can ban together to educate and influence others via the web.


I feel like so many of my gayby dreams are coming together at this event. Laura partnered with the Tegan and Sara Foundation. YUP THAT Tegan and Sara. I probably listened to “19” about ten million times in my college dorm room. The iconic lesbian band’s nonprofit whose mission is all about “fighting for economic justice, health, and representation for LGBTQ girls and women.” Even more awesome is that a portion of each ticket sale will go to the foundation’s programmatic endeavors.

Guests at MOTHERSHIP camp on site with food trucks and showers also on location.

Photograph by Lorem Ipsum via Unsplash

It’s not too late – book your tickets to Mothership Festival and Retreat, October 13-15 today.