Lesbian/Feminist/Queer Arts Festivals
And What? Queer Arts Festival was launched in 2016 as a platform to show the work of Queer and LGBTQIA+ artists, makers and producers, to encourage different spaces for artistic conversation across London. The festivals takes place in the autumn.
Dates: October 2022
Antwerp Queer Arts Festival AQAF is a multidisciplinary arts festival, questioning gender and sexual diversity. It combines art with activism and academia. The first festival was held in 2014. It usually takes place in August.
Dates: August 2023
Fringe! Queer Film & Arts Fest. Since 2011, Fringe! Queer Film & Arts Fest has been an entirely volunteer-run organisation rooted in London’s queer creative scene. In Novembers, and throughout the year, we showcase an eclectic mix of films, arts and events celebrating LGBTIQA+ stories from around the world, welcoming everybody.
Dates: 20-25 September 2022
Lesbian Lives Conference hosted by University of Brighton LGBT and Queer Life Research Hub in conjunction with Women’s Studies Centre, University College Dublin is the world’s only annual academic conference in Lesbian Studies. In 2013 the organisers celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Lesbian Lives Conference. The conference is held in February. The 23rd Annual Lesbian Lives Conference was held in 2017. The 24th edition was held in March 2019.
Gaywise LGBT Arts Festival, GFEST is an annual queer arts festival in London. It aims to provide a unique platform for Queer Arts principally created by Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender (LGBT) artists from a variety of diverse backgrounds. The festival will present the work in a creatively safe, stimulating and artistically challenging manner. It also offers the unique opportunity to showcase the artwork in London, UK. The first festival was organised in 2007. GFEST artistic director: Niranjan Kamatkar. It is held in November at venues in London.
Dates: November ?
Homotopia – a festival in Liverpool, UK, featuring a variety of events including theatre, film, art, performance, photography, heritage and storytelling. Homotopia was launched in 2004.
Dates: November 2023
International Eressos Women’s Festival. Sappho Women’s international women’s festival is a non-profit making event which celebrates the history, culture, achievements and diversity of women. All women are welcome. No woman will leave the island of Skala Eressos without knowing more about herself and the impact of women in the world around them.
Dates: September 10-20, 2023.
STRANGELOVE in Antwerp, Belgium is an alternative arts festival on the topic of gender diversity and sexual orientation. The festival presents a programme of queer films, (interactive) performances, dance, visual arts, photography, literature, music and workshops. The latest edition was held June 6-8, 2019.
Thessaloniki Queer Arts Festival brings together artists, activists, performers and educators from all over the world to explore eros, queerness and LGBT+ concerns and experiences via artistic practices. The latest issue of the festival was held in June 2019.
Outburst – an annual queer arts festival and creative initiative for Northern Ireland. The first festival was held in 2006. It takes place at a number of venues in Belfast each November.
Dates: The 16th OUTBURST QUEER ARTS FESTIVAL, 11-19 November 2022.
Qtopia Queer Arts Festival, held in Nijmengen, Holland, features a programme of workshops, performances, lectures and exhibitions. the latest issue of the festival was held in October 2021.
The Discontinued European Festivals
ALAF – a Lesbian Arts Festival’ in Dublin, Ireland, celebrating Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered and Queer women’s artistry and creativity, from poetry to music, theatre to film making and visual art to the art of our own bodies. aLAF was running annually from 2002 – 2008.
dgtl fmnsm #2 #intimacy 2018 is the second edition of Digital Feminism’ interdisciplinary forward-thinking unapologetic queer feminist art festival in Leipzig, Germany (2018). Curated by Ulla Heinrich and Konstanza Schütze.
Elles résistent Festival, a vibrant radical feminist and lesbian festival, which takes place in Montreuil (Paris) France. The festival is the first Parisian lesbian and feminist festival that features both performances, lectures, workshops, music events and visual arts. The festival was held in 2012 and 2015.
Off_pride festival in Zurich. Off_pride’s main focus lies on (gender)queer und trans* life styles. It is an alternative, non commercial, subversive, free spoken festival that privileges spontaneity and exchange over consumption and event culture. We are queer_feminist, anti-racsist, burlesque, happy, freaky, perverted… The festival, is three days of workshops, public debates, interventions, films, concerts and exhibits on queer, trans*, political and other issues. The festival was held in 2011.
‘Queer Up North’ was Manchester’s UK international queer festival. The annual festival features LGTB theatre, music, comedy and cabaret. The first festival was held in 1992 and it was discontinued in 2008.
The Fresh Fruit Festival is a spectacular, multidisciplinary international celebration of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender culture and art in New York, USA. The Fresh Fruit Festival takes place annually during the summer. The first festival took place in 2003.
Dates: 2023 Mainstage Fresh Fruit Festival, April 24 – May 7
Midsumma Festival, Australia – since 1988; the Midsumma Festival, Victoria’s premier gay and lesbian arts and cultural festival, is presenting an annual community celebration and encouraging the development of innovative artistic content and a unique cultural experience. The festival is held in January – February.
Dates: January 22 – February 12, 2023
Nigah QueerFest in New Delhi, India, began in 2007 as an attempt to create queer culture in the Indian capital, for and by queer people themselves. The festival has now grown to a full ten days arts festival, which features films, photography, talks workshops, performances and parties held i November – December at several venues in the Indian capital. The festival is organized by Nigah, which is a queer collective that works on issues of gender and sexuality.
National Queer Arts Festival – Since 1998, QCC has organized an annual month-long National Queer Arts Festival in California. USA. To date, these Festivals have presented more than 400 different events featuring over 1000 Queer artists including Alice Walker, Robert Rauschenberg, Bill T. Jones, Ester Hernandez, Adrienne Rich, Marga Gomez, Justin Chin, Cherrie Moraga and Dorothy Allison. The 2006 Festival attracted more than 65,000 people. The festival is held annually in the month of June.
Dates: May 13, 2023 through July 2, 2023
Pride in Art Society, Canada, creates opportunities for dialogue between queer artists from different disciplines, encourages visibility and appreciation of queer art and artists through the presentation of events, including a multidiciplinary Queer Arts Festival in Vancouver, Canada. You can find ‘Pride in Art Society’ and the Queer Arts Festival on Facebook.
Dates: June 17–28 2023
Queer Pin@y Conference at UCLA, US. QPC is an annual conference that brings together queer Pilipino and Pilipino Americans and their allies to engage issues relevant to our communities, through workshops, dialogue, art, community building, and celebration.
The Discontinued Non-European Festivals
Exposure – Edmonton’s Queer Arts & Culture Festival, Canada is no longer running. Exposure was running in the period 2006 – 2013.
Edgy Women and Edgy Redux are a feminist experimental art events devised by Miriam Ginestier and produced by Studio 303, Montreal. Commemorating International Women’s Day, Edgy Redux continues the Edgy Women Festival’s mission to explore the complexity of contemporary feminisms, through fun, experimental, community-building artistic events, cabarets, hybrid media events and panel debates. – Undisciplined. Unapologetic. 23 years of feminist arts practices.
Homo A Go Go festival, San Francisco, USA, features a diverse, multi-disciplinary line-up of music, film, spoken word, visual art and workshops in a unique blend of community building and cultural activism. The festival strives to feature a roster of queer artists and activists from diverse backgrounds, identities and locations. Homo A Go Go has been running 2002 – 2006 in Olympia, WA and in 2009 the festival moved to San Francisco.
Queer Women of Color and Friends (QWOC+ Boston) is a volunteer-run, grassroots organization dedicated to creating and sustaining a truly diverse social space for LGBTQ women of color in the Greater Boston area, USA. They are known mainly for their quarterly social networking events, and QWOC WEEK, a week-long multicultural pride festival featuring a variety of events and activities intended to increase visibility of LGBTQ people of color and spread awareness of issues pertaining to other marginilized cultural groups within the mainstream queer community. The festival is held in July / August.
The Queer West Fest, Toronto, Canada, is about International Queer arts, politics and culture Its about exploring the queer art experience. A place to encounter contemporary queer sensibility, A place to critically discuss and define queer aesthetics. At The Queer West Festival you will find visual art, dance, theater, a series of literature and poetry readings with artists discussing their work, film and video screenings, and a wide array of multi-disciplinary programs. The 1st Annual Queer West Fest took place in 2001 as a one day event. Now it is a 7-10 day arts and culture festival.
TRIGGER Festival in Toronto, Canada, 2011. A queer cultural festival presenting performances, films, music, art and workshops organized by the militantly unapologetic TRIGGER Collective. TRIGGER is a platform to explore, perform and discuss strategies for creative, productive healing and empowerment, which we hope can be maintained and developed beyond TRIGGER. Let’s network, strategize and build sustainable tools for survival. – TRIGGER reclaims the notion of survival through art as activism and activism as art!