She takes much the same view of Lilith Fair, an all-female tour embraced by audiences seemingly startled to discover that a lot of women are making music these days. "Lilith Fair is not the festival that I would put together if I were coming up with a chicks-making-noise festival," DiFranco remarks. "I think I would have a somewhat more diverse group of women musicians." But at the same time, she says, "there's something really interesting about listening to a cast of women musicians over the course of a day and coming away with a sort of resounding voice in your mind that's just slightly higher-voiced than the one you usually hear. The roar of the crowd is different when it's a majority of women making up the crowd. It's a cool sound to hear."
Of course, the days when DiFranco could count on unisex audiences are long past. As she puts it, "I'm getting all the different makes and models any more." Clearly, a sizable number of concertgoers have figured out something that still seems to elude a great many journalists.
"Friends of mine have asked me, 'Doesn't it really fucking drive you crazy that you're a songwriter but people don't ever mention your songs?'" she says. "But the media are just not why I make music, and their understanding of what I do doesn't really matter that much. It's not why people come, and it's not what they react to. I think they come to hear the songs because they have an intense relationship with them. And I come to play them. That's basically what I'm about.