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L.A. electropop artist Celeste XXX is set to perform at wOmXn Fest.
L.A. electropop artist Celeste XXX is set to perform at wOmXn Fest.
Photo by Fausto Renteria

No Men Were Involved in the Making of wOmXn Fest

WOmXn Fest is coming to the Magic City in the leadup to Miami Art Week. The one-day event, hosted by Crass Lips Records, will present a diverse lineup of all-womxn performers, bands, musicians, and vendors, creating a safe space in the experimental, queer-friendly Little Haiti venue 229. Behind the festival is Period Bomb's mononymous leader, Cam, who wants attendees to experience the "feeling like we can change things even when everyone and everything around you tells you otherwise."

The bands on the roster vary greatly in genre and style, but many offer lyrics and themes addressing the movement opposing discrimination against womxn and the LGBTQIA community. One of the headliners, Forced Into Femininity, is a Chicago multimedia performer known for confronting issues head-on by invading the audience's space through her strong lyrics. Locals such as Ghostflower, Glass Body, Carl$ter, and Street Rat are also on the lineup.

Period Bomb is a Miami band fronted by Cam, whose own struggles led her to create events such as wOmXn Fest. Since forming the band more than four years ago, she has devoted most of her time to touring various cities and discovering their underground scenes. Over time, Crass Lips Records was formed as a collaborative effort to unite this network and growing community of musicians who want to make a difference despite feeling like outsiders in their own towns. "They have these big ideas but don't want to be criticized and would rather stay home and make those big ideas come out through art, music, or writing," Cam says. Now the label boasts more than a hundred releases and tapes, and new signees will be announced at the fest.

"I'm a bit of a genre-destroyer," says Cam (left) of Period Bomb. "I don't see a need to categorize when there's relatively so few artists, even in the underground, that aren't trying to copy something that's already been done. The genre is 'other.'"
"I'm a bit of a genre-destroyer," says Cam (left) of Period Bomb. "I don't see a need to categorize when there's relatively so few artists, even in the underground, that aren't trying to copy something that's already been done. The genre is 'other.'"
Photo by Kevin Brown

Cam's dedication is strong despite opposition she's faced on the road as a performer and even as a musician trying to book events and gigs in Miami. She receives support from locals on the scene such as Poorgrrrl and Womanmay, but others have criticized her performances, which are known to involve the throwing of her own blood, hence the band's name. Many known Miami venues don't return her calls when she tries to book shows with them. Other trials she's faced are encounters with toxic men in the music scene and even in her own band. Instead of letting that toxicity slow her down, she creates events in spaces where it's rejected.

It's been a learning experience for Cam to curate these events properly. "The first thing people think to do when they want to host an Art Basel event is who is going to sponsor it. So they go to all of these rich men," she shares when recalling an instance when a corporate sponsor scammed her. Venues such as 229 are run by similar-minded people such as Poorgrrrl who have dedicated themselves to creating safe spaces. Past events hosted by Cam and her collaborators include a full-day lineup featuring no-wave New Yorker Lydia Lunch at Churchill's Pub during Art Basel Miami Beach 2016.

Everyone is encouraged to attend wOmXn Fest. The idea is not to alienate anyone but to convey a bold and relevant message shared by many womxn. Proceeds from the festival will benefit womxn only. Says Cam: "I want people to experience a womxn-owned/-run atmosphere and festival, to be empowered by it, and to have a sense of community."

wOmXn Fest. With Period Bomb, Forced Into Femininty, Womanmay, and others. 6 p.m. Friday, November 30, at 229, 229 NE 65th St., Miami. Tickets cost $15 to $20 via ticketor.com.

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