In a year of political chaos and in the wake of the July political conventions, Righteous Babe Records and singer-songwriter-activist Ani DiFranco hope to energize people about the issues at stake this election year, and motivate people to vote on November 8th. Ani is announcing the inaugural “BabeFest,” a festival of music, comedy and social activism to take place August 26, 2016 in Babeville – Righteous Babe’s stronghold in Buffalo, New York. This year’s BabeFest focus will be VOTE DAMMIT, and Ani will be joined by The Daily Show co-creator/Lady Parts Justice founder Lizz Winsteadand artist/advocate Chastity Brown. A portion of theproceeds will go to The Roots of Music, which empowers the youth of New Orleans through music education, and to Lady Parts Justice.
Ani DiFranco brings her band with her on this homecoming performance: bassist Todd Sickafoose and drummer Terence Higgins.
Ani DiFranco is currently on the road with her VOTE DAMMIT tour, driving home the need to get out the vote for all local and congressional elections, in addition to the presidential election. BabeFest is an organic evolution of the tour, incorporating political and social activism into the live performance arena. DiFranco notes, “let us invent more forums in which to inspire and organize ourselves. let us enter, nay, invade politics! from all sides and in all ways! for instance: vote dammit. let’s start there!”
In career that has spanned over 25 years, DiFranco has released more than 20 studio albums, as well as live albums, EPs and collaborations. Many of her songs have been woven with her views on the issues she’s passionate about. Her boundary-pushing music and her progressive messages have made her one of the foremost feminist performers today.
Alongside DiFranco on BabeFest is Lizz Winstead, co-creator and former head writer of The Daily Show and co-founder of Air America Radio. Winstead leads Lady Parts Justice and Lady Parts Justice League, reproductive rights sister organizations that use humor and outrage to expose anti-choice zealots and mobilize people to take action in all 50 states. Winstead claims, “You can’t have a sustaining revolution without music and laughter and since we are fighting harder than ever, we are gonna need a lot of both. I am so excited to do some laughing and singing with Ani.”
Chastity Brown is a singer-songwriter and social activist based in Minneapolis. She is an advocate for the Black Lives Matter movement and LGBTQ rights who seeks to combat institutionalized racism and homophobia. For Brown, every performance is an opportunity to build power within communities of color.
Various organizations will be on hand for the BabeFest conversation, including HeadCount, a non-partisan organization that stresses the importance of voting to music fans. HeadCount recognizes the importance of “speaking to be heard,” regardless of one’s political alignment. The Roots of Music and Amnesty International will also be represented, and more will be added.