The Ladybug Festival has made a name for itself as the largest all-female music festival in the U.S. (“I hired a researcher to find out,” said Gable Music Ventures cofounder Gayle Dillman), even getting written up by Billboard. Not bad for a festival that started in 2012 as a block party in LOMA for locals who couldn’t afford tickets to Firefly. Ladybug features local female artists, in contrast to the male-dominated lineups of most music festivals.
In five years, Ladybug more than tripled in size, from 20 acts in 2012 to 75 in 2017; more than 10,000 people were estimated in attendance by Downtown Visions last year over its two-day run.
Ladybug had officially arrived, drawing the interest of acts and music fans from all over. This year, acts include LA rocker Lauren Ruth Ward, British pop-punk queen Bronnie and Brooklyn’s The Rizzos — while not leaving local talent out to dry. Delaware acts include Angela Sheik (who headlined the very first Ladybug), Grace Vonderkuhn, Nihkee Bleu, An LeTreece, Hoochie Coochie, Sharon Sable, Chloe Rae, Kategory 5, McKinley Short, Terretta Storm, Lauren Kuhne, Stacia LaChole, Erin Kelsey, LADYY, Olivia Rubini, Ava Awitan, Evangelina and Kiera Sankey. Many of the other artists come from around the Mid-Atlantic.
The Friday setup, with a main outdoor stage at 4th and Market and performances at LOMA locations down to 2nd Street, will be familiar to anyone who’s done Ladybug in the past. On Saturday, the festival moves a couple of blocks north, centered around The Queen, with an outdoor stage at 6th and Market.
The shift is part of Ladybug’s expansion, as well as a partnership with Live Nation, which took over events at The Queen last summer.
The Queen will host Saturday’s main acts, as well as some new surprises, including the “No Bro Comedy Show,” featuring a dozen female comics from the region, including Maryland’s Missy Grynkiewicz, the 2013 winner of LOL @ The Grand, and The Ladies of Wilmington’s Fearless Improv.
You can also catch the Forged Fashion Show, featuring the wearable metal artwork of Iron Maiden Forge, at 7:30 on Saturday.
Got little kids? Come early (2:15, before the main events start), for “Little Ladybugs” at the Delaware History Museum, featuring live tunes for kids, face painting and storytelling.
As always, the whole event is free, no tickets or registration required.
For all the details, including a full list of artists, schedule and parking info, go to LadybugFestival.com.-30-