Next month a festival to raise awareness on body-positivity, called Hoechella, will run August 26-27 at New Brookland Tavern. The festival, organized by local musician and stage actor/director, Kari Lebby, was created to combat “slut shaming, rape culture, and unjust legislation that affects people's bodily autonomy.” This event will be completely free, thanks to Girls Rock Columbia and Girls Rock Charleston, who procured funding for the event, Lebby says.
The decision to throw this event came from a desire to subvert the idea that expressing ones sexuality should be shamed and made to be a bad thing. “It isn’t a bad thing,” Lebby says. “What is a bad thing, however, is the marginalization of women, people of color, and queer people.” By holding this event, they wish to bring artists and leaders from these communities together for visibility and to encourage everyone to be comfortable with who they are, and to be informed about issues that affect us all.
The festival will feature local and regional acts, almost all of them including at least one member who is queer, a woman, or a person of color, according to Lebby. Debbie and the Skanks, Cyberbae, MyBrother MySister, Glittoris, and Can’t Kids will be performing, just to name a few. They cover a wide range of genres, which was another important factor in booking. This is to showcase diverse acts and to hopefully bridge some of the gaps in our ranging music scene.
Hoechella became a fully-realized festival in what seemed like no time at all, but that was not without the help from people and organizations in our community. “I just have crazy ideas, but it takes a ton of people to make it happen!” Lebby says about seeing Hoechella come to fruition. People from the organizations Girls Rock Columbia and Girls Rock Charleston, along with the staff at New Brookland Tavern helped to solidify their plan, while others helped with things like the organizing and designing of the logo.
Lebby hopes this event will encourage people to start speaking out against rape culture, body shaming, slut shaming, and unjust legislation. It will hopefully add a new spin on the typical shows we see here in Columbia, with added awareness and encouragement to be comfortable with one’s self and their personal choices.
For more information, check out Hoechella.org.
Full list of performers
Can't Kids, Say Brother, Debbie & the Skanks, MyBrother MySister, She Returns from War, Glittoris, Sandcastles, Paisley Marie, Del Sur, Cyberbae, BRBN, and Sugar St. Germain.