Now going into its 10th year, the annual WOW Festival returns to the
Southbank Centre on 6 – 8 March 2020, coinciding with International Women’s
The festival has boasted impressive line-ups of influential female speakers in past years, with Malala Yousafzai, Naomi Klein and Annie Lennox among those who have been involved. The 2020 line-up is no less impressive. Headline acts announced so far include Invisible Women author Caroline Criado Perez, artist Bobby Baker and an all-female cast performing Letters Live.
The full programme for the 2020 WOW Festival is yet to be released, but organisers promise nothing less than ‘the biggest and bravest festival yet’, including a 10th anniversary celebration International Women’s Day.
Here are some of the highlights you can book now…
Caroline Criado Perez - Invisible Women
Queen Elizabeth Hall | 6 March, 7 - 8PM
In her book Invisible Women, author Caroline Criado Perez – who is also the woman behind the successful campaigns which have seen women put on Bank of
England notes and a statue of suffragist Millicent Fawcett erected in
Parliament Square – explores all the ways in which the world is not designed for women. From the prescription drugs that are for a larger body to the phone that’s too big for your hand, join Criado Perez as she reveals the ways in which the world is built for men, by men.
Emma Dabiri: Don't Touch My Hair
Purcell Room | 7 March, 8:30PM
Join critically-acclaimed writer and broadcaster Emma Dabiri as she explores why black hair is never ‘just hair’ following her groundbreaking book, Don’t Touch My Hair. From pre-colonial Africa to today's cultural appropriation wars, Emma explores why black hair styling culture can be understood as an allegory for black oppression and ultimately liberation.
Bobby Baker: Drawing on a (Grand) Mother's Experience
Purcell Room | 8 March, 2:30PM & 7:30PM
Artist Bobby Baker returns to the WOW festival to revive Drawing on a (Grand) Mother’s Experience, her exploration of trying to ‘have it all’. In 2015, WOW Founder Jude Kelly invited Baker to re-stage her seminal 1988 work Drawing on A Mother’s Experience. By then a grandmother, Baker chose to update it, creating Drawing on a (Grand) Mother’s Experience.
Now, the show returns for the 10th anniversary of WOW, allowing Baker the chance to explore the experience of early motherhood from an older and more reflective vantage point on stage.
Letters Live at WOW
Royal Festival Hall | 8 March, 8PM
If you’ve been to a Letters Live event before you’ll know the drill: a surprise cast of celebrities reading historic letters, in what is a celebration of the enduring power of written correspondence. To mark International Women’s Day, a special edition of Letters Live is being held at WOW, featuring an all-female cast. Expect to hear women’s stories brought to life through the charged lens of the personal letter.
Olivia Colman, Benedict Cumberbatch, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Kylie Minogue are among the starry names who have read at previous Letters Live events. But as always, the names of those performing at WOW will be strictly guarded until the curtain goes up.
Cost: £18 - £50
Under-10s Feminist Corner
Foyle Pavilion | 7 March, various times
In the Under 10s Feminist Corner, your little ones can explore what it means for girls and boys to be equal, and discover what life is like for girls across the world. A series of workshops are taking place throughout the two-day festival for both boys and girls. The sessions are for children only, but parents can look on from nearby sofas if they wish.
Between the festival’s many discussions, workshops and performances, which will cover diverse topics including finances, sex, global feminism and climate change, the intent of the event remains the same: to explore the state of gender equality across the globe and tackle the most talked-about issues facing women and girls today.
|What||Women of the World, Southbank Centre|
|Where||Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London, SE1 8XX | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Embankment (underground)|
06 Mar 20 – 08 Mar 20, Times vary for specific events
|Price||£depends on event|
|Website||Click here to book via the Southbank Centre website|