If music festivals are your thing or even if you are just a music lover, then you will definitely want to hear about The Ladybug Festival! It’s the largest celebration of female music in AMERICA (yeah, that’s not a typo) and it’s right in YOUR backyard! Here’s what you need to know.
With the intent of creating an alternative to Delaware’s Firefly Festival with a focus on local independent artists free for the community to attend, the idea of The Ladybug Festival was created. This festival would feature an all female lineup that was all about women, even the staff and crew!
“Women tend to be severely under represented on music festival lineups. With the rare exception, most festivals will only have 20-30% of a lineup featuring artists with at least one woman. Ladybug is proud to feature women for every act, and additionally hires female sound engineers and event staff”, said Jeremy Hebbel Co-Owner, Gable Music Ventures LLC.
The history of the festival dates back to 2011, when Michael and Debbie Schwartz (owners of Shops and Lofts at 2nd and LOMA) worked with Gayle Dillman and Jeremy Hebbel of Gable Music Ventures to create a live music block party for their tenants after Firefly had been announced. Originally there were 300 attendees, which has now grown to about 10,000 attendees! Because the response to the Festival was so positive it became an annual event that so many people know and love. It has even attracted national performers like Vanessa Carlton, KT Tunstall, and Mary Lambert!
Over time more stages, artists and events have been added to The Ladybug Festival even including nationally recognized acts. In 2018 they secured a second location for the increasingly popular event in Milford, Delaware. Over time the both locations have thrived and renewed for the following years until 2020 with COVID-19. Although the event was greatly impacted, they were able to continue it virtually which also had its perks. They were able to feature artists from all over the world!
“Dubbed ‘The largest celebration of women in music in America’ Ladybug has drawn between 7,000-10,000 attendees in Wilmington, and approximately 4,000-6,000 in Milford. We are so excited to be able to hold Ladybug events again after needing to hold the event virtually in 2020 due to COVID”, stated by Jeremy Hebbel Co-Owner, Gable Music Ventures LLC.
The impact of the festival on Wilmington has been immense. “The Ladybug Festival has always provided a really big boost in business for downtown Wilmington. The event has always been strategically placed on this third week of July since it tends to be a popular time of year for people to be out of town or on vacation. By bringing so many artists into town to perform we are giving people a reason to come downtown, enjoy live entertainment, and shop and support the businesses that are hosting the artists”, said Jeremy Hebbel.
If you are itching to go to this insanely cool music festival, you’re in luck! July 12 – 17 is Music By Women Week sponsored by The Ladybug Festival! 6 days, 9 locations and 15 acts so be sure to check it out!
7/12 – Hot Breakfast at Rockford Park
7/13 – Tara Hendricks at Brandywine Village Market
7/14 – Calla Bere & The Attitude at Sugar Bowl Pavilion
7/15 – You Do You at 100 Block West 11th St
7/15 – Frantastic Noise at 800 Block Market St
7/15 – Sharon Sable at 7th & West Park
7/16 – Betty & The Bullet at Makers Alley
7/16 – Songwriter Showcase at Spaceboy Clothing
7/16 – Olivia Reynolds at Knight’s Bar
7/17 – Bree & The Reeds at Knight’s Bar
7/17 – Week Finale at Sugar Bowl Pavilion
For more information about The Music By Women Week click here!