Get Your Tickets To Mothership – The Trans-Inclusive, All-Women Feminist Festival & Retreat

It has been described as the “feminist alternative to Coachella, by Global Citizen. But the Mothership festival and retreat for women is more than just a music festival, but it is held in the desert. Launched 3 years ago by founder Laura Wise, the aim was to gather festival-goers around a common goal of sisterhood. On the website, they state they are the only overnight feminist festival in Southern California, and all of the events are 100% female-driven.

“We are the anti-mean girls, the new wave riot grrrl, sex-positive, LGBTQ encompassing, ultra-inclusive creatives who believe in the power of women supporting other women…We know a good time and expanding minds are not mutually exclusive, and thus MOTHERSHIP was born. We are an activist organization that creates kickass events for people whom identify partially or wholly as women/womxn and want to connect, collab and celebrate feminism,” the website states.

Not only does the festival have a music and entertainment line-up, there are also a number of workshops, panels and events ticket-holders can attend. And unlike the recent hubbub surrounding the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival, which was controversial due their exclusion of trans women, Mothership is trans-inclusive. The festival is being held in collaboration with the Tegan and Sara Foundation which a portion of ticket proceeds will go toward. The Foundation fights for economic justice, health, and representation for LGBTQ girls and women.

Mothership is unique in the festival space as not only are there very few all-female festivals in existence in large scale around the world, but the presence of women and female artists at many of the big events pales in comparison to men. Glamour magazine recently looked at the gender breakdown of some major music festivals, on the 20th anniversary of the Lilith Fair – the all-female event cofounded by singer-songwriter Sarah McLachlan, designed to give female artists the same lucrative touring gigs as men.

Not surprisingly, the majority of lineups were still male-dominated. Which is why a festival like Mothership is very needed. And it’s not just the artist line-up that is all-female, even the food vendors and food trucks are owned and operated by women. In an interview with, founder Laura spoke about the disparity toward women at other festivals and why this became a motivating factor for creating Mothership.

“Around 15% of all festivals [in 2016] had all-women acts on stage, and it was something like 75% of acts were all men. The rest was mixed-gender on stage. I wanted to counteract that and really turn it on its head. Only women are on our stage. All of our acts are 100% women, and that’s been really fun because a lot of people in music will say, ‘How do you find these acts?’ I’m like, ‘How do you not?’ There are so many talented women out there … and I really wanted to show everyone that all-female acts can kill it,” she said.

Feminism is a huge part of the heart and soul of Mothership, and this is why the festival includes a number of panels and workshops as well as music centered around it.

“I describe MOTHERSHIP as the intersection of celebration and education around feminism. Our events definitely reflect that. From sunup to sundown, there’s programming throughout the day, and then as soon as the sun goes down we have live all-female music acts. We have panels on the state of feminism, so if someone is coming into the festival like, ‘Okay, I’m here. I love this all-girl environment, I love this feeling, but I’m not sure what I’m doing and I’m not sure what feminism is, or where we’re at,’ we have a panel for that. We have panels on digital activism, because that’s something that I’m really passionate about,” she explained.

Mothership is also very sex positive, offering workshops and spaces where topics such as sexual pleasure, sexual health are being discussed in a way to empower women. Laura says these workshops have been very popular and speaks to a need in our society to dismantle shaming and stigma around women’s sexuality.

“For so long, women’s health and women’s sexuality has been repressed and so under-studied and under-discussed, so it’s like the Madonna and the whore thing, right? We can’t win. Moving into this safe, feminist space [that is MOTHERSHIP], being able to talk about that stuff is really liberating, and people are really curious and people are really excited. Clearly people want this kind of information and want to learn more, and it’s a safe place to do that,” she said.

The intersectionality aspect of the festival is also very important, which is why Laura designed Mothership to be trans-inclusive.

“For me, I’m still learning. As a white cisgendered woman, I’m always trying to learn how to be a better feminist. And I know that the more inclusionary this movement is, the more intersectional it is, the stronger that we are. Diversity is an asset,” she said.

Although she has received some backlash from some people about it being a women-only space, Laura isn’t about to cave or apologize for this, and says the number of sexual assaults happening at music festivals and elsewhere in society has made her want to create a safe space for women.

If all of this sounds like your kinda scene, you’ve still got some time to get tickets before the 2017 festival which takes place in the Coachella Valley, from October 13-15. Learn more about the line-up and the Mothership festival in the promo video below:

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.