Last year we all had high hopes that lockdown would be eased fairly quickly and by March 2021 everything would be more or less operating normally
In that spirit plans were put in motion for a weekend to celebrate women’s creativity to coincide with International Women’s Day on March 8th entitled WAMfest (Women Arts and Music).
Unfortunately, as we all know, covid and lockdown have got in the way of normal life for far longer than we ever expected – and it seems after the PM’s road map was unveiled this week, indoor venues will not be reopening before May 17th .
However this doesn’t mean WAMfest won’t happen – it’s just been postponed until early September when the hope is that it will run in conjunction with Art on The Prom using a number of locations including Two Sisters Arts Centre and The Mariners in Trimley, Cuppa Cafe in Walton and 142 Hamilton Rd in Felixstowe to celebrate the best in music and art created and performed by women that our local area has to offer.
Meanwhile the weekend of International Womens’s Day will still be celebrated by event director Laura Locke with interviews and discussion on Felixstowe Radio’s Laura Unlocked on Friday 5th at 10am, and the release of a video taster by Jon Swallow of Swallow Media featuring some of the performers and art that will be featured later in the year.
In addition 142 Hamilton Road is mounting a women’s exhibition in their window, and a mural created by the very popular Colombian artist Catalina Carvajal will start to take shape on the hoardings that surround the site of the old Central Surgery opposite The Orwell Hotel – after permission was finally obtained from site owners Wetherspoons.
Laura Locke first hatched the idea of a festival to raise the profile of women in the arts more than a year ago during an interview on Felixstowe Radio with professional singers Fiona Jessica Wilson and Christina Johnston, who live in the area. It occurred to them that there had never been an event marking IWD in Felixstowe before, and that it was about time this happened.
So feelers were put out for performers, artists, authors and venues to come on board, a team of women friends gathered to co-manage the event and women-managed venues including the Orwell Hotel, 2 Sisters Arts Centre in Trimley, 142 Hamilton Road art gallery Cuppa Cafe and the Greenhouse Cafe all agreed to join the project.
Support was secured from Felixstowe Forward and offers of funding from councillors, sponsors and Felixstowe Town Council. A range of exciting elements were scheduled for the March weekend including performances, literary workshops and art exhibitions.
The hope is that the festival will now go ahead on the weekend of September 3rd-5th
If you would like more information, to participate, or to support the event please contact the WAM women via Laura Locke through Facebook, or Instagram – WAMfest Felixstowe.