North Texas Daily

Annual She-Rock festival celebrates women in music, local community

Annual She-Rock festival celebrates women in music, local community

Annual She-Rock festival celebrates women in music, local community
March 09
12:00 2023

An array of multicolored lights turned the spotlight on several female and femme-fronted acts at this year’s She-Rock fest. The fourth event of its kind was held at Rubber Gloves last weekend in honor of International Women’s Day.

“This festival is bringing awareness [to women] because women fly under the radar in the patriarchy,” said Lawanna Fant, Denton resident and Friday night festival attendee. “I didn’t even know, really, about International Women’s Day, to be honest with you, until She-Rock brought it to my attention.”

Denton-based nonprofit Friends With Benefits held the annual festival on March 3 and 4. FWB is also known for fundraising by putting on other events in Denton, including We Denton Drag It and Sister Act.

FWB supports several charitable groups in the area. This year, proceeds from the festival were donated to Denton County Friends of the Family’s survivor advocacy team and Chhaupadi Inc., a group that distributes free period products across North Texas.

“Statistically, we know domestic violence and sexual assault is very gender-based violence, typically directed towards women, so we’re really proud to be here empowering women,” said Abbi Deshazo, university alumna and DCFOF victim advocate. “Empowered women empower women.”

On Thursday evening, before the festival officially kicked off, FWB held an awards ceremony at Dan’s Silverleaf to celebrate women who make a difference in the community. Award categories included community leader, education, charity, public servant, business owner and “Aren’t You A Bada—.”

“We almost got stuck in a tornado during [the ceremony], but we made it out, and we’re all okay,” said Vikter Solis, volunteer coordinator and FWB secretary. “It was really cool, though, supporting the women in our community.”

Artists from across the state made their way to Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios to perform at the festival. For several, it was their first time to play a show in Denton.

Kady Rain, a pop artist from Austin, took to the outdoor stage on Friday night wearing a cowboy hat and a white jacket adorned with rainbow tassels. Rain learned about the festival when event organizers reached out and invited her to perform. She said the word of her feminine musicianship must have made its way to Denton.

“It’s really awesome to have women-fronted bands and femme-fronted bands represented in music and represented in live music
especially,” Rain said. “A lot of festivals and lineups are severely lacking in feminine and femme-presenting groups, and there’s a low percentage of female producers, so it’s very important to represent women.”

Despite Friday’s chilly weather, a steady stream of festival goers warmed by heat lamps flowed into Rubber Gloves to watch the performers and catch up with friends. Saturday saw warmer temperatures, which Denton residents and friends Rachel Trammell and Hannah Waite took advantage of.

The pair heard about the festival through a friend and thought it would be a good way to celebrate International Women’s Day.

“I don’t normally get out and come to shows and stuff, but for this kind of a benefit, I was totally down,” Waite said. “I think it’s great, the charities the proceeds are going to.”

Nytrate, a female-fronted, old-school metal band based in Arlington, performed on Saturday night. Their 40-minute set included songs about love, songs about being a woman empowered by sex and a song about lead singer Alli Clay’s mother with Alzheimer’s disease.

“I think [the female lineup] is what it should be — I mean, it is International Women’s Day, so it should be a predominantly female thing,” Clay said. “All the bands can’t be all women, so it’s okay to let a few men in, but I think we should be able to celebrate the fact that we’re women in music.”

Clay hopes her band is invited back to She-Rock next year. She said as long as she can perform, she will be at the festival

For those who have lived in Denton for years and others whose first time in town was for the festival, She-Rock and FWB aimed to show what Denton is all about.

“I think [She-Rock] is such a cool representation of Denton as a community, and I think it’s so important that Denton as a whole acknowledges so many different parts of our community,” Deshazo said. “Putting on this show on behalf of women and women in music is so great.”

Featured Image Kady Rain performs at Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studio for She-Rock Festival on March 3, 2023. Makayla Brown

L25 performs at Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studio for SheRock Festival on March 3, 2023. Photo by Makayla Brown.


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Kaitlynn Hutchins

Kaitlynn Hutchins

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