Girlfriends singer Ben Potrykus, a self-identified feminist whose band plays Sunday night, says the Ladyfest benefits leading up to the festival have left him excited for next weekend, and in general about the community Ladyfest has fostered.
"These DJ nights, art auctions, and shows have given me a real sense of community that I haven't felt as fully in Boston for years," writes Potrykus in an email. "I've been watching people come together to make this happen, seen new friendships form, and, I think, a sense of determination rekindled in some folks who have been on the Boston scene for awhile."
On a recent Friday night at the Washington Street Art Center in Somerville, those community vibes flourished at the opening of "Adventures Close to Home," a gallery show curated by Ladyfest Boston. As Stern DJ'd — spinning punk, indie pop, and riot grrrl — Hartsock sat at a table selling screen-printed T-shirts, pins, and patches. Rizzo and Cuozzo stood behind a concession booth. About 30 people were hanging out, perusing work on the walls by local feminist artists, making bids mostly ranging from $15 to $100.
Potrykus hopes Ladyfest creates a community of people who "have each other's back more," whether that means "calling each other out on our sexist shit" or holding each other accountable more generally, so people "get help where they need it."
"There have been some pretty upsetting events in the past few years in Boston, even within the music scene, that involve violence against women," says Potrykus. "I think Ladyfest can be part of an ongoing conversation to help build a culture that doesn't tolerate that kind of behavior. . . . I hope that Ladyfest's positivity, motivation, and organizational skills will stay strong enough to rub off on all the other players in the scene, and if all the awesome parties leading up to this rager are any indication, they totally will."
LADYFEST BOSTON | Cambridge YMCA, 820 Mass Ave, Cambridge | February 3-5 | $15; $35 three-day pass