Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival Will Be the Last

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Womyn at last year's MichFest.  Photo: Michigan Womyn's Musuc Festival

Womyn at last year’s MichFest.
Photo: Michigan Womyn’s Musuc Festival

By: Christine Nicco/TRT Reporter—

In an unexpected statement, Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival founder and organizer explained that the 40th Anniversary of the MichFest will be the last.

According to Lisa Vogel, the Festival is something to remember because it changed lives and it grew from a lesbian movement that brought about change, support and loyalty amongst womyn.

“For many of us this one week in the woods is the all too rare place and time where we experience validation for our female bodies, and where the female experience presides at the center of our community focus,” stated Vogel’s Facebook passionate post. “A place to lay our burden down from the misogyny that pervades our lives from cradle to grave…a place to live in intergenerational community, and to live in harmony with Mother Earth.” [pullquote]”Everything we have created together will feed the inspiration for what comes next. It’s possible that I will come back with something else, or that other sisters will take the inspiration of the Michigan community and create the next expression of our Amazon culture.”[/pullquote]

Other changes may come in time, according to the founder.

“Everything we have created together will feed the inspiration for what comes next. It’s possible that I will come back with something else, or that other sisters will take the inspiration of the Michigan community and create the next expression of our Amazon culture. What is true for me is that now is the time to bring this 40-year cycle to a close, stepping out on joy at our most incredible anniversary celebration,” read Vogel’s FB statement.

The Festival takes place on 650 acres of remote Michigan woodlands, with options ranging from a solitary deep-woods camping experience to a fireside urban site with neighbors from around the globe. Some of the criticism regarding the Festival, first taking place in 1976, had to do with the exclusion of trans womyn, which resulted in the boycott of artists and sponsors alike.

“There have been struggles; there is no doubt about that. This is part of our truth, but it is not–and never has been–our defining story,” wrote Vogel. “The Festival has been the crucible for nearly every critical cultural and political issue the lesbian feminist community has grappled with for four decades. Those struggles have been a beautiful part of our collective strength; they have never been a weakness.” [pullquote]”The Festival has been the crucible for nearly every critical cultural and political issue the lesbian feminist community has grappled with for four decades. Those struggles have been a beautiful part of our collective strength; they have never been a weakness.”[/pullquote]

According to a former Advocate story, some of the “performers such as the Indigo Girls, Antigone Rising, and Lea DeLaria” have all decided to not perform at the event. Last year, Equality Michigan started a petition signed by national LGBT organizations requesting that the Festival change its discriminatory ban on trans women. Another report states that the practice to exclude transgender women date back to 1991, when the first trans woman was thrown out of the festival.

This year’s (and final) 40th Anniversary will be held on August 4-9. For more information about the MichFest visit: http://michfest.com/. For more information about the 2015 performers visit: michfest.com/performances/.

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