On Saturday 09 March 2024, the day after International Women’s Day, Speakeasy and LOUD WOMEN have joined together to bring you a day of indie goodness showcasing talented bands/artists with women at their heart: The IWD Fest. Based on statistical evidence, women dominate the music scene; they outnumber men as musical artists and they consistently top the charts, but this data doesn’t seem to translate to the main stage – fewer than 20% of headline acts at UK festivals in 2023 were female-fronted.

The IWD Fest is not only a fantastic showcase for talented artists, but it shall also serve to generate well-needed funds and publicity for SAASSBMK (Sexual Assault and Abuse Support Service Buckinghamshire & Milton Keynes - www.saassbmk.org.uk). SAASSBMK is a women-led charitable incorporated organisation serving those in Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes whose lives have been affected by rape, sexual assault, and abuse. Their primary aim is to provide support, information, advice, and guidance to victims and survivors, empowering and enabling them to work with the trauma and suffering caused to them and their loved ones by sexual assault and abuse, including non-recent and childhood sexual abuse. All profit generated from this show will be donated to the charity.

Line up

Formed in the late ‘80s, The Popguns are a magnificent indie band from Brighton. The band, perhaps most well known for their 1989 top 20 hit ‘Waiting for the Winter’, continues to release fantastic music, as demonstrated by their latest EP, 2023's Popism.

Post-punkers Desperate Journalist have been releasing wonderful, melodramatic, and haunting cinematic sounds since their debut LP in 2014, blending elements of likes of The Cure, Savages, and Joy Division. Always receiving rave reviews for their live performances, Desperate Journalist recently completed a successful tour supporting Britpop pioneers Suede.

Formerly of Lush and currently in both Piroshka and her own eponymous trio, Miki Berenyi will be joining us in conversation, discussing her recent autobiography and her time in the music industry.

Da Googie is the solo project of My Bloody Valentine bassist Debbie Googe, who will be performing tunes from this exciting and experimental new project.

ARXX characterise themselves as “if Taylor Swift had only listened to Nirvana.” We think this description perfectly describes their special sound. With songs like ‘Ride Or Die’, this two-piece is going places.

Fraulein is a Northern Irish/Dutch duo who intertwine their early nineties grunge and PJ Harvey influences to create a thunderous racket. Having recently toured with The Mysterines and English Teacher, wider success is just around the corner for these two.

Charley Stone with the Actual Band joins the bill with a deep CV. Charley was in the ‘90s bands Gay Dad, Salad, and Sleeper, among numerous other projects including Desperate Journalist, who she will also be playing with today. Charley is an extraordinary entertainer and with her mesmeric guitar skills and beautiful voice, she is sure to delight and enthrall.

Nadia Sheikh is back at Bucks Student Union after her brilliant solo acoustic show at Speakeasy Volume One. This time around, however, she returns with a full band, new music, and rides off a successful tour of Spain.

Hurtling’s sound is drowned in glorious guitar tones and noisy bass lines all underpinned by driving drums. Taking inspiration from bands such as The Breeders, Throwing Muses, and Sebadoh, Hurtling uses those ingredients to cook up their own unique sonic recipe.

Laura Jayne is a singer-songwriter from the north-east of England. Laura has a stunning voice that sits on top of indie rock instrumentation, with plenty of pop thrown in for good measure.

I, Doris are feminist post-punk delivered with a fun DIY attitude and heaps of humor - a fantastic and entertaining live band that leaves an indelible mark on your memory.

Former Echobelly, Curve, and Nightnurse guitarist Debbie Smith will keep the party going with a DJ set of classic tunes to close out the festivities.

*All under 18s must vacate the venue by 11pm*


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