9781555834777 / 1555834779

Eden Built by Eves: The Culture of Women's Music Festivals


Publisher:Alyson Books



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About the book:

Longtime festival enthusiast Bonnie J. Morris offers a thorough, if somewhat breathless, survey of the 25-year history of women's music festivals, drawing on interviews with performers, producers, and technicians, as well as her own extensive archives and journals. "What binds us together [at festivals] is twofold," she affirms, "the collective experience of the music and the collective safety of being in woman-loving space." Many of the women quoted applaud the summer festivals as refuges from misogyny and homophobia, "fantasy islands" that can sustain them for the rest of the year. The restrictions most lesbians face in ordinary life are brought home by the editor's decision not to publish any photographs of happy crowd scenes, in case a woman pictured should lose her job or her children. As well as backstage politics and artistic trends, Morris describes the early performances of successful crossover artists such as Melissa Etheridge, who was once threatened with a boycott by anti-S/M festivalgoers who misheard her line "Meet me in the woods" as "Beat me in the woods." Possibly worth reading just for chapter titles like "There's a Nursing Baby in the Mosh Pit." --Regina Marler,

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