This All-Female Festival Was Created To Bring Some Major Girl Power To The Festival Calendar


No glow sticks or flower head bands required for this event! The inaugural Other Festival, held in New York on June 11 was the first all-female festival designed to celebrate female creators and makers. The event was founded by Dee Poku, who is also the founder and CEO of the WIE network, a symposium which gathers female leaders together to create change and support for women in a range of different industries.

Dee told before the event kicked off, that the idea came about after her own experiences attending other festivals which seemed to lack a certain chromosome in their performer and speaker lineups.

“I was really struck by how male-heavy the bands on stage were and how female-heavy the audience was so I was like ‘there’s an imbalance here’,” she said.

“I thought, well, the women are sort of driving these festivals from a profit standpoint but they’re not represented on stage and that felt wrong to me,” she added to

Her own WIE Network became a very useful tool in researching how to remedy the problem. After realizing most of her events were made up of millennial women, she decided to create an event that would tap into the entrepreneurial spirit she could see burgeoning.

“Younger women were flocking to our events and they were very entrepreneurial women, all self-starters and I wanted to support that entrepreneurship for women, nurture their creativity and help them get their ideas to fruition,” she said.


This was not just any corporate event, nor was it just a music festival. It was a millennial girl bosses dream come true. The Other Festival had an eclectic mix of performers, designers, experts, speakers and panel sessions where women could come and choose something that catered to their creative or business needs and meet other like-minded women.

“We tend to have speakers and performers who combine a little bit of both business and culture. With this festival, I’m generally looking for women who are disrupting a little bit in their space, who are great speakers, and are willing to be open and forthright in sharing their stories,” she said.

Being held in New York was the perfect place to inaugurate an initiative like this, as it is home to many women-led businesses and ideas, attracting people from all over the world because of its heady mix of creativity and corporate values.

Women in business are the backbone of our economy. We want to make New York City a place to celebrate and support women. Through The Other Festival we are giving the next generation of entrepreneurs and business leaders the tools they need to succeed,” NYC Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen told


Dee Poku said she moved to New York because of the way the city encourages entrepreneurship and disruption.

This is a one-of-kind event, a place to be inspired and to discover what’s next. Women in music, fashion, art and technology are at the forefront of innovation in America and I’m looking forward to gathering these mold breakers together. The future is most definitely female,” she told

The line up including a who’s who of the female empowerment zeitgeist: Supermodel Naomi Campbell, Girls Who Code founder Reshma Saujani, Actress Rosario Dawson, Black Girls Code founder Beverly Bond, Wifey.Tv co-founder Rebecca Odes, Editor-in-chief of Marie Claire magazine Anne Fulenwider, and Selby Drummond, a director at Vogue Magazine.

Along with the inspiring messages about building your own business or brand there were conversations about food, film and feminism, yoga sessions, and places where attendees could buy accessories directly from some of the featured designers.

With a play on the common association with the word “other” that is often assigned to people who don’t fit into societal norms, and which the feminist movement is constantly trying to dismantle, the name of the festival is certainly very fitting. Gathering a whole bunch of “other” people in one room for one day to spark some major femme-focused disruption is exactly what society needs right now.


“Other is really about owning what makes you different. The women we have performing and speaking, they have embraced what is different about them and that’s why they’ve become so successful…Owning what is different about you and embracing the things that set you apart are actually what make you great,” she told before the event.

On the official website, the mission is summed up in a Gloria Steinem quote: “It’s not about a piece of the existing pie; there are too many of us for that. It’s about baking a new pie.”

In other words, behold a new era of leadership, creativity and entrepreneurship that is defined by women who make their own rules and are encouraging others to do the same.

“One of the obstacles as women that we come up against, we are operating in a system that wasn’t made for us. From the workplace standpoint, it’s really about embracing climates that are more accommodating and more flexible to women. It’s about allowing women to have families and to work and to not have to make a choice between the two, which is a choice I had made, which is why I left the corporate world to become an entrepreneur,” said Dee.

For those of us who weren’t in New York on Jun 11 to attend the Other Festival, this is just the beginning for Dee and her crew and we can’t wait to see how this will expand in the following years. In the meantime, be sure to follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to stay informed of what they are planning in the future. Want to hear more about founder Dee Poku’s vision of the Other Festival? Watch the video interview below with Honeysuckle Magazine:

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