Modesto’s fledgling women’s music festival didn’t want to wait to go statewide.
So the organizers didn’t, and now in its third year the event formerly known as the Northern California Women’s Music Festival has retooled itself to become the California Women’s Music Festival. And to help celebrate the change, festival organizers are bringing in Lilith Fair veteran and “I Don’t Want to Wait” singer-songwriter Paula Cole to headline the all-day event Saturday, Oct. 22, in the Foster Family Theatre at Gallo Center for the Arts.
Like in years past, the music festival will highlight largely female-fronted performers, from local performers to national headliners. But this year it contracted from a weekend-long event across several venues to a one-day festival at the Gallo Center. California Women’s Music festival director Victoria Boyington said this year’s changes were to both broaden the event’s range and focus its energies.
“We definitely wanted it to be a statewide festival; we didn’t want it to be concentrated on just Northern California. We wanted the opportunity to move wherever we wanted to go. It was also hard (for the audience) when we spread (shows) over such a wide area. For a growing festival, it is better to concentrate on one day,” Boyington said.
This year’s bill features more than a dozen performers. The headliners will kick off at 4:50 p.m. with popular Modesto blues act Big Earl and the Cryin’ Shame, a band without any female members, which Boyington included to help emphasize that the event is for women and men. The rest of the evening lineup features Texas Americana quartet Urban Pioneers at 5:30 p.m.; all-female Led Zeppelin tribute act Zepparella at 6:10 p.m.; “Rock Star: Supernova” runner-up Dilana at 7:20 p.m.; blues-rock guitarist-singer Samantha Fish at 8:40 p.m.; and Grammy-winning singer Cole at 10 p.m.
The day’s events will kick off with two talks, one by motivational speaker Alana Scott and another by Modesto-based anti-human trafficking group founder Debbie Johnson in the morning.
“The whole point is to bring the community together to celebrate women in music and support women,” Boyington said.