A two-week long festival of drag events, talking circles, cabaret and more is set to rock the city.
Supported by funding from Arts Council England, Genderland Festival will provide a space for members and allies of the queer community to dive head first into the gender spectrum, engaging with complex ideas of what it means to exist outside of ‘the binary’ (two gender system) in an accessible way.
All are invited to join Mooncup Theatre and their many fantastic creative partners to explore the topic of gender, in all its forms, with events kicking off on Monday 27 September.
Rebecca Clarke, founding member of Mooncup Theatre and one of the festival’s organisers, said: “Genderland Festival is an opportunity for the queer community and allies to share and learn together in safe, creative spaces, exploring the gender landscape and unravelling the socially constructed ‘norms’ that have been thrust upon, and can harm, us all.
“So often in conversations about gender, I hear people say they’re worried to ask questions about gender for fear of getting it ‘wrong’.
“Genderland is also about allowing space for people to share thoughts, ideas, feelings about the complexities of gender, without fear of making mistakes, because knowing the right ‘terminology’ shouldn’t be a barrier to acceptance and growth.
“And it wouldn’t be Mooncup if we weren’t going to have a bit of anarchic fun with it too. Do watch out for our ‘drag promenade’ across the city and cabaret events and make sure you grab yourself a ticket…”
The festival is aimed at members of the LGBTQIA+* community, artists and allies but organisers are clear that everybody is welcome. Those who want to learn more about gender and how to be a good ally are encouraged to take part.
Isobel Balchin, founding member of Mooncup Theatre and one of the festival’s organisers, said: “We all experience gender, whether we realise it or not.
“However, there is a chasm of difference within our society around ideas of gender, with people that challenge the so-called ‘norm’ often suffering discrimination just for existing as their true selves.
“At a time when Liverpool’s queer community is still reeling from a series of hate crimes in recent months, we wanted to offer a platform so that the voices of those from marginalised groups can be heard and validated.
“Genderland is really about hearing from these different voices and sharing your own, to help each other navigate the worries, wonders and downright weirdness of our own gender identities.”
The festival programme includes talks on ‘Genderation Z’, ‘The History of Gender’, ‘Trans Awareness & Activism’ and ‘Gender and Language’ in addition to a panel event that will allow attendees to hear from voices from across the gender spectrum.
There will be a chance to take part in workshops including; ‘Gender Exploration’, ‘Talking about Gender through poetry’.
And why not don some sequins and discover your drag alter-ego with Mooncup Theatre’s very own Spice Boys in the much-awaited ‘Drag Workshop & Promenade’ – which will see festival-goers take to the city’s streets in full drag!
Finally, the festival will culminate with a special cabaret evening where local queer creatives from across the North West will showcase their talents, alongside a day dedicated to exploring queer safe spaces.
Events will take place in locations across Liverpool, with the majority being held at Metal Liverpool.
View the festival line up and ticketing information on Mooncup Theatre’s website here: https://www.mooncuptheatre.org/genderland-festival.html.
•Early bird – Full Festival Pass – £35 (£30.conc) – limited release, available until Saturday 18 September. First come first served.
•Full Festival Pass – £45 (£40.conc) – available from Sunday 19 September.
•Day Pass – £10-£15 (£8-£12.conc) – available throughout, subject to availability. See events below for individual day tickets.
•Gender Cabaret – £10
Organisers recommend booking an early bird or full festival pass if you plan on attending on two or more days (as individual days range from £10-15).
Concessions are available for students, pensioners and those on a low income or in receipt of benefits.