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The Crack Magazine

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Here's Some Mint News...

Here’s a cold hard fact for you: women are mint. You know what else is mint? A weekend of music, panels and workshops dedicated to celebrating the brilliance of women and non-binary performers hosted at Cobalt Studios from May 20-22.

I don’t know about you, but I’m sick of looking at festival line-ups year after year to find that women have been given the short end of the stick. Live music may have made its grand return after Covid, but apparently us ladies were not invited as only 21% of the acts at the UK’s biggest festivals were women.

Not only is this discouraging for women to see, but it also lessens the quality of the event. Anyone with half decent taste knows there’s no shortage of incredible female singer-songwriters, rappers, pop artists and DJs. I’ve been to Reading Festival a few times and have always enjoyed it, but please explain to me how Liam Gallagher has headlined twice since the last woman did? I won’t lie, I do look back at that in anger.

But if you don’t move with the times, you’ll get left behind, and the ladies and NBs of Women Are Mint are going their own way. Originally created in 2018 in partnership with Newcastle’s own Alphabetti Theatre, the festival has grown into a full three-day event with performances to satisfy every musical itch, workshops to encourage community and even free yoga to get you moving.

Martha Hill, a Newcastle-based musician and director of the event, is driven by the desire to provide educational opportunities for aspiring female musicians in the North East and show off the very best our region has to offer. Last year’s line-up featured the talents of Kay Greyson, Georgia May and Lauren Stone, but if you missed it, there’s plenty more where that came from.

We’re all musical genre hoppers nowadays, and if it’s variety you want, Martha Hill has lovingly curated a line-up you’re bound to love. Kicking off the festival on Friday (tickets: £10), the unique voice and multi-instrumental talents of AK Patterson are bound to put you in a trance, and the folk stylings of Good Habits will have you busting out your own air-accordion. And that’s just a taste of what’s to come: there’s also indie-alternative songstress Ceitidh Mac and Americana songwriter Lady Nade.

But as we said, Women Are Mint is not just about enjoying great live music. It also about inspiring you — yes you! — with brilliant workshops and panels. The first one is a creative dance class held up the road at Yoga Therapies. Saturday’s got panels and workshops on feminism, zine making and song writing, right before more like music from Naomi Carole, Coalescence Sound System, Eva Lazarus and Mina + Bryte. This is the dancier night, so bring your comfiest shoes and get ready to get down (tickets: £15).

Sunday is the family friendly day, and it’s also pay as you feel. They’re a family music session and a yoga class in partnership with Shanti Bee — both are free, but a £5 deposit is required. Closing the weekend, we’ve got performances from SHE Choir, Elle Chante, Nadedja and Nothering.

So what’s the downside? There’s only one: tickets are selling out fast! All of the workshops are free, but some of them require a £5 deposit so make sure you check the site (womenaremint.co.uk) and book your space. The Women Are Mint team believe that great art should be for everyone, so the prices are kept as low as possible. Weekend tickets are just £23 or, if you can only make one day, Friday tickets are £10 and Saturday tickets are £15.

Molly Greeves

Women Are Mint 2022, Friday 20-Sunday 22 May, Cobalt Studios, Newcastle. Full details from: womenaremint.co.uk. You can also find the festival on Facebook and Instagram @womenaremint.

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