The female-led festival fusing music and arts to ingenious effect

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The female-led festival fusing music and arts to ingenious effect

Words by Marnie Vinall

Summer Dreaming is a fantastic event thought up by some incredibly creative people.

On Sunday April 14th, Thornbury Bowls Club is being taken over from 12pm-5pm by an innovative female-led music and arts festival. 

Celebrating the unrivalled creative talents of female and gender diverse communities, Summer Dreaming: A Female-Led Fest is a project that has given event operations manager Lucinda Walravens plenty of joy and enthusiasm.

“It’s basically the best passion project of all time,” Walravens says. “It’s going to be so jam-packed and ridiculously cool.”

Six months ago, Walravens received funding from Bendigo Bank and was tasked to put together a team of six like-minded women to make the dream come alive, telling them, “anyone can put together an event, all you need is a lot of passion and a lot of grit”.

Over the last three months, the women have been hard at work putting their brains together to create the most inclusive event they can with the aim of bringing people together to form new connections within the community in a space safe.

The first initiative to achieve this was to make the event alcohol free, which Walravens explains is to remove social pressures around the consumption of it.

“Festivals are quite dependent on alcohol, drugs and smoking, and it’s quite commonplace that when that does occur, it can be quite isolating for people who don’t necessarily want to opt into those things.”

Walravens notes that this is especially prevalent in Australia because of our binge-type culture and so she “wanted to create a space which would be welcoming to people who otherwise might not necessarily feel like they’re welcome in those spaces.”

The event is hoping to foster connections between members of the community without the aid of booze or substances, and in doing so, will have a much more lasting effect.

“That’s the aim,” Walravens laughs. “That’s the hypothetical thesis we’re trying to write here.”

However, you needn’t worry about any tummy rumbling on the day, as the Fitzroy Learning Network Catering Group will be taking charge on the food front and the Summer Dreaming team providing the booze-free beverages.

“[There will be] heaps of nice finger food,” Walravens assures us. Then, confirming everyone’s thirst will be quenched too, “in terms of drinks, we’re doing a lot of mocktail type stuff. We’ll be having some nice jars of kind of punchy-vibes to get you through the day.”

The event kicks off at 12:30pm with a Welcome to Country. “Recognising that we’re a predominately white Anglo team, I think it’s very important to recognise the land on which we’re using to gather on. We reached out to the Wurundjeri people and we’ve had it confirmed that our elder will be the beautiful Auntie Julieanne Axford welcoming us to country,” Walravens explains.

After that, the event is non-stop good vibes with live music and workshops running throughout the whole day. Prime your eardrums for some soft-pop tunes by local artists, On Diamond, Chitra, and Nightlight, with DJ Shell Ley spinning tunes in between.

Alongside the live music, there’ll also be arts and crafts for your hands to get busy with as the event is running a bunch of workshops including yoga, Zumba, Big Feminist Sing teaching you how to spin cool songs, zine making, meditation and painting.

Plus, the best bit of all is that if you don’t have someone to go with, you don’t need to stress as the team have an initiative to tackle that problem too. “For people who don’t necessarily have anyone to go to an event with, or are interested in going but are like, ‘ah, I won’t know anyone there’, we’ve got a form that’s up for people to fill out and then we’ll match them with a friend for the day. I’m really proud of that initiative,” Walravens tells.

So for good tunes, community vibes, scrumptious food and friendship forming, Summer Dreaming is where you need to be this Sunday April 14th.

“It’s going to be going ahead rain or shine, but fingers crossed for the shine.”

Summer Dreaming: A Female-Led Fest goes down at Thornbury Bowls Club on Sunday April 14. Grab your tickets via Eventbrite.