This past weekend saw the third annual LFest come and go, the UK’s only lesbian festival. A mix of arts, culture, music, sports, cinema & workshops, it was bursting with women, wine and song, along with stilt walkers to pole dancers, writers to comedians, ballroom dancers to speed daters. With so much on offer, it was difficult to take it all in – but here are some of my highlights…
10. The Venue
LFest was held this year at Uttoxeter Race Course in Staffordshire. As someone who grew up going to race meets (my dad was a gambler, not a race horse trainer), I’ve been to many race courses up and down the country and I can attest that Uttoxeter is tip-top. Abundance of bars, good loos, dandy paddocks, swanky suites. Which all helped to make LFest bloody brill.
9. The Fishfinger Butty stall
When the rains came and all else seemed lost, there was the fishfinger butty stall. £3 bought you two slices of spongy white bread, fishfingers & ketchup. An extra quid for a potato waffle. This was the stuff of festival dreams.
8 – Charlie Rundle
She strutted on-stage and brought down the house on the opening night with her guitar-strumming ways. Women & guitars – yep, still sexy. With shades of a young Ani DiFranco, it proved that talent does exist on talent shows still.
7 – The Dog Show
Lesbians love dogs, so Sunday’s Dog Show brought out the competition as dykes from across the land entered their pooches into the frey. It was fierce, it was intense and I can tell you this: some dogs won and I ate an ice cream.
6 – The LFest Crew
Whether driving around in their spiffy vans, looking after dogs or lugging speakers, the women in green always had a friendly smile. Even in torrential rain. Big up!
5 – The Workshops
Want to learn pole dancing or how to be a writer? Want to discover your inner drag king or harness the sheer brilliance inside of you? Want to learn comedy improv or song writing? All this and more was available at LFest. I know!
4 – The Lesbians
Everywhere you looked, there were lesbians. In all flavours and shapes, they drank, ate, whistled, hollered and generally had a jolly good time. LFest was one big lezza love-in. No, not like that. Honestly.
3 – The Rain
Because it’s not a proper British festival without a downpour is it? The thunder and lightning were a bit OTT mind.
2 – Maureen Duffy
A living legend, Maureen Duffy came out in the 1960s and has been writing lesbian fiction, poetry and plays ever since. She kept the rapt crowd enthralled with her stories of yesteryear while also treating us to a reading from her latest novel as well as her most recent book of poetry. Maureen, we salute you.
1 – The Indie Authors Panel
Hosted by Kiki Archer and with the fabulous indie panel of Clare Ashton, Cindy Rizzo and er… me, this was a rip-roaring success with readings, chat and near-nudity! Big up to Kiki’s wife Nicki for being such a good sport. My wife has already told me “This will never happen…” Make sure you watch the video at the top for more!
LFest happens every summer, with LFest Del Mar in May and LFestive around Christmas. This is our festival, so let’s support it! For more: www.lfest.co.uk
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