WOW – Women of the World has today revealed the full line-up for its 2023 London Festival, which returns to the Southbank Centre from 10-12 March to mark International Women’s Day, supported by The WOW Foundation’s Global Founding Partner, Bloomberg.
Tickets for the 13th edition of the world’s biggest and most comprehensive festival celebrating women, girls and non-binary people are now on sale here. Tickets for headline events start from £10, and there is a free programme of festival events on offer. WOW is also working with community groups and ticketing initiatives to make 400 free tickets available to the festival.
There will be three headline evening events across the festival. On Friday evening, Legendary broadcasters Jane Garvey and Fi Glover will unpack some of the big news of the day in an extended live edition of their new podcast from The Times Off Air… with Jane and Fi, live from the Royal Festival Hall alongside special guests to be announced.
On Saturday evening, WOW will reclaim sex and go big on orgasms in the Royal Festival Hall with sexpert, relationship advisor and author of The Big O, Oloni. In conversation with Tolani Shoneye, co-host of the award-winning The Receipts Podcast, Oloni will debunk taboos around pleasure for women and take a deep dive into sex positivity, kinks, pleasure and her mission to reclaim sex – with plenty of time for audience questions. They’ll be joined by special guest, actor and musician Jordan Stephens (Rizzle Kicks) in this fun and freeing, no holds barred conversation.
On Sunday night, Roxane Gay, one of the leading feminist voices of our time, comes to London for one-night-only. From politics and patriarchy to Beyoncé and reality television, the author of Bad Feminist – universally considered the quintessential exploration of modern feminism – will join WOW for an unforgettable evening of conversation and celebration of her work that has garnered acclaim across the world for its honesty and ferocity. Tickets for this event will go on sale on 1 February.
WOW have also today announced new sessions and speakers as part of the Day Pass programme for Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Each day features a different line-up, offering audiences the chance to choose from dozens of events in multiple spaces and venues.
Jude Kelly CBE, Julia Gillard, Laura Bates, Elif Shafak and activist Josephine Kamara will open the festival on Friday 10 March with a session on women, misogyny and power, followed by conversations throughout the day spanning the cost of living crisis, mental health, fat activism and what it takes to be a CEO.
Ahead of the festival on International Women’s Day (8th March), an exclusive one-off screening of Suzie Miller’s award-winning play, Prima Facie directed by Justin Martin and starring Jodie Comer (Killing Eve) will be presented by WOW at BFI Southbank. A blistering take on how our legal system fails survivors of sexual assault, Empire Street Productions’ Prima Facie was captured live in London’s West End as part of NT Live and became a sell-out cinema event of 2022, and returns for one-night only as part of the festival. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion with Jude Kelly, Helena Kennedy KC and other guests to be announced.
The festival will also feature the return of the much-loved WOW Marketplace, a programme of free WOW Pop Up performances, free WOW Speed Mentoring and Under 10’s Feminist Corner for budding young feminists everywhere. There will also be events specifically for children – Joyful, Joyful: Stories Celebrating Black Voices with illustrator Dapo Adeola and writers Hannah Lee and Maame Blue; Tolá Okogwu will bring her story Onyeka and the Academy of the Sun to life; and Emma Carroll and Lauren Child come to WOW to present The Little Match Girl Strikes Back.
Jude Kelly CBE, CEO and Founder of The WOW Foundation said: “Women and girls are dealing with significant anxiety with the cost of living, health, childcare, and the ongoing epidemic of violence. WOW provides the space for everyone to come together to explore solutions and create community, as well as taking time to celebrate amazing achievements across the globe in the ongoing march towards a gender equal world. Everyone needs the annual WOW tonic, and we hope you’ll join us.”