LadyBug Music Festival returns to Wilmington, where female artists will be front and center

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Performers at the LadyBug Music Festival. (Courtesy of LadyBug Music Festival)

Performers at the LadyBug Music Festival. (Courtesy of LadyBug Music Festival)

The Ladybug Music Festival in Wilmington, Delaware, is the country’s largest celebration of women in music.

Created as the local answer to Firefly, the first Ladybug Festival took place in 2012 and featured an all-female lineup of artists local to the Wilmington/Philadelphia music scene.

WHYY’s Priyanka Tewari spoke to Gayle Dillman, of Gable Music Ventures, the founder and force behind the LadyBug festival.

LadyBug Music Festival founder Gayle Dillman. (Courtesy of LadyBug Music Festival)
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Dillman believes women still face challenges in the music industry, which, she said, continues to be male-dominated, ageist, and superficial. She deplores the fact that, in other festivals across the country, less than 40% of their lineups are female-fronted or female musicians. She is proud that Ladybug festival has managed to achieve a 100% female-fronted line-up for the past ten years.

Performers at the LadyBug Music Festival. (Courtesy of LadyBug Music Festival)

Her advice for budding musicians? “Stick with it … It’s a marathon. It’s not a sprint.” She encourages musicians to cultivate a following, to find their niche, and to distinguish themselves through that. Family as fans do not count, she added.

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This year’s LadyBug Music festival boasts a diversity of music and genres, with 41 performers spread over eight indoor venues on the lower Market Street block, plus one large and one small outdoor stage. It’s a family-friendly event, with vendors selling unique products, a bar run by the Wilmington Whiskey Club, and food trucks.

The LadyBug Music Festival. (Courtesy of LadyBug Music Festival)

This year’s headliner is Sweet Lizzy Project. More information is available on the festival website, including a Spotify playlist of artists who will be performing this Friday.

Sweet Lizzy Project. (Courtesy of LadyBug Music Festival)

Ladybug Music Festival is taking place on Friday, May 20, in Wilmington, Delaware, and July 30 in Milford.

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