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All Lady(bug) music festival hits Fort Collins’ GNU Experience Gallery

Bailey Constas

It’s November and the last thing that would be in Fort Collins this weekend are ladybugs. That said, the ladies are certainly going to be buggin’ around GNU for a two-day music festival showcasing the women of DIY music in Colorado.

Sara Century, one of the main forces responsible for the festival, wanted to let people know of the many incredible women in music.

“The festival is just to serve as a reminder that women do in fact play music all over the place, all of the time,” Century wrote to the Collegian in an email, “but there is simply less exposure to this aspect of music due to a long list of cultural and societal issues.”

Century and Brandton Manshel, co-owner of GNU, were inspired by the Denver’s Titwrench Fest, an all female music festival that Century has been involved with and played in the last three years.

According to Manshel, the Ladybug Fest is going to be a “smörgåsbord of visual art, musicians of all kinds that don’t usually get to Fort Collins — so it’s kind of a big deal.”

“Titwrench is really just a ton of fun and is very community and art oriented in a way that no other festival is,” Century wrote.

Sarah Slater, the founder of the Titwrench, is an influence and friend to Century.

“I respect her and what she has done for women musicians in Denver simply by helping to show that they exist,” Century wrote. “Which in turn does a great service for the men in Denver, because I’m sure not a lot of guys really want only men in the audience or on the stage.”

Century wanted to create a feeling of safeness and community similar to Titwrench, which led her to booking a vast majority of the acts.

“There simply isn’t a lot of DIY music in Fort Collins, and there are far less women involved in it than men, plainly said. We could argue about the reasons why, or we could shine a spotlight on it and prove it doesn’t have to be that way,” Century wrote.

“The festival exists, simply put, because there is nothing currently like this happening in Fort Collins, and I would like to help change that in a positive way, if possible,” Century wrote.

Death In Space is a one woman band that recently began in June that sounds like mixed noise rock, shoegaze and punk rock.

“Oftentimes, it is hard to showcase artwork in a male-centric music scene because people just assume that the music you create isn’t as good as male artists. Ladybug is a great platform to show what women in music are doing and how awesome it is,” DIS said.

Being from Denver, Ladybug will be DIS’s first time performing in Fort Collins when she takes the stage Friday night.

Growing up in Missouri, Century did not have a strong family, so instead she created a family in the arts community.

“When I was a suicidal 12-year-old trapped in an abusive home in rural Missouri, I had no idea of the world that awaited me outside of that. I am trying to speak to ‘young me’, that 12 year old that couldn’t find a thing to live for except for random independent music and comic books,” Century wrote.

Festivals like this, Century hopes, will foster a world where women are treated equally and work toward more balanced gender ratios in music and in general.

Manshel knows that Fort Collins has a great group of females, but that there could be more.

“We really live for this kind of event and have been wanting to do it on this level for a while and think it will be memorable, which is what we’re going for,” Manshel said.

“There simply aren’t enough women kicking ass, taking over the planet and ruling the world. I know so many beautiful, strong and amazing female artists, and we all struggle within an incredibly male-dominated scene,” Century wrote.

About Bailey Constas

Summer Editor in Chief, Bailey Constas, is a senior journalism major who writes about all voices of the CSU and Fort Collins community and has a soft spot in her heart for all things music, culture and community. She has worked at the Collegian since August 2011. The best way to contact her is at bconstas@collegian.com.


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