“Women’s Weekend”, the classic women’s music and comedy festival that has been happening in the Russian River area for over 27 years is being reinvented by it’s original founder.
In September of 1986 Carmen McKay was a worker at the West Coast Women’s Music and Comedy Festival near Yosemite when a large forest fire broke out endangering the lives of the 150 workers setting up for the festival, and ultimately, cancelling the festival itself. Carmen donned a Wonder Woman outfit she happen to have with her, and led the woman out of danger on her motorcycle. She then diverted 600 disappointed festival goers to the Atlantis Resort in Guerneville, CA. In 1987 Carmen began working with Eric Pariser, Manager of The Woods Resort in Guerneville to bring entertainment, a crafts faire and a large promotional outreach to build upon a smaller women’s gathering called,
“May Day” which was started in 1982 by The Woods and Fifes Resort. “Women’s Weekend” attracted 6000 women bi-annually to the area until the mid 90s when Carmen turned the festival over to the community. The festival eventually devolved into a smaller event with last May’s event at the Triple R Resort in Guerneville attracting approximately 300 women.
Carmen is reviving and reinventing the festival this September 12-14 with her partner, Annie Albright. Carmen and Annie own “She She”, an event production company focused on the over 35 lesbian market.
“Women’s Weekend 2.0” will be held at the outdoor Monte Rio Amphitheater in Monte Rio, CA and features headlining acts such as Beverly McClellan from NBC’s “The Voice” as well as comics Julie Goldman of Logo and Bravo TV and Suzanne Westenhoefer. The event also offers a golf tournament, crafts fair, flash mob dance, wine tasting, a Sunday Jazz and Blues line up, “The Largest Lesbian Single’s Mixer in the World” and many other activities.
“I’m so excited to bring Women’s Weekend back to it’s full glory! This festival will be focused on diversity, fun and connection. We are marketing to include the lesbians over 35 – not just the younger market – Baby Boomers are welcome! Many women refer to the festival as ‘The Dinah Soar’”. – referring to the large Dinah Shore festival in Palm Springs. The theme of the festival is: “Practice random acts of kindness”.
“The festival is designed to give women permission to really connect – rather than hide out in cliques” says Carmen. 10% of the festival profits will be donated to charity.
Friday and Saturday evening dance parties will be held at the River Theater in Guerneville with Bay Area DJ Rockaway of the “Play” Dances fame.
Camping and hotel accommodations exclusively for woman are available and listed on the Women’s Weekend 2.0 website. Early bird tickets are offered at a discount if purchased before August 15 also available on the website.
For more information contact Carmen McKay at [email protected].