Mothership Festival: Welcome to the Female Reigning, Ass-Kickin’ Planet

Ever wish that you could just leave Earth for a day and fly to another planet? Well, now you can, without even having to leave California. Enter Mothership, a festival that leaves behind the patriarchal hierarchy on Earth, taking you to a space that celebrates womxn for the incredible beings they are. Mothership is a vital addition to the primarily male-dominated festival circuit, bringing to the forefront the importance of creating sacred, inclusive spaces for females, curated by females. In the lead up to Mothership Festival this Saturday we caught up with passionate founder Laura Wise to find out more about the lineup and the evolution of Mothership for the future.

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Mothership founder Laura Wise.

How important is it for you to create inclusive spaces for womxn?

For me, being in women’s spaces was a game changer. It allowed me to connect to myself and also connect with women in a really authentic way. When we aren’t constantly dodging weird sexist comments and advances by creepy men – it’s a whole new world *cues The Little Mermaid soundtrack*. Women’s spaces encourage collaboration and freedom and I am all about that for ALL women. I want my mom to meet my quirky art friend. I want everyone to learn from each other and to be having meaningful conversations, and so far, we’ve been really successful with that.

Mothership Festival

If an alien mothership landed on Earth and offered to take you anywhere, where would you go?

Hahaha, I’d be like well can we swoop my partner/gf Jo and then go back in time to kindergarten and teach little Laura Spanish (because she’s gonna need that ish for her whole life and she totally missed out). Then maybe zip over to the 60’s and catch a ton of music and support the women’s lib and black power movements? Can I go meet Harvey Milk? It’s weird, I don’t think I am all that interested in leaving this planet right now, what inspires me is the various activist movements throughout time. There’s hope in that. Now I sound like a dick for not like, stopping Hitler….can I start over?

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Laura Wise with Tegan and Sara. Image by Victoria Craven.

Who are some inspiring womxn in your life?

Many of my friends aren’t from the United States; I think this gives me perspective. As time has gone on I’ve softened a lot (with my opinions) and realized that everyone has had SUCH different perspectives and experiences. Politics and movements and ideas from all around the world overlap and intersect. There has to be room for that. We have to zoom out and open up. My friends who were not born here, help me to see that.

Mothership Festival
Image by Sam Snitzer.

There’s an incredible programming schedule for the festival this year from the much needed “Joy of Masturbation” workshop run by Laura Bogush to personal experiences with reiki master Amber Arrigotti to exploring the powers of crystals with Robyn Vie-Carpenter. What do you look for when putting together your schedule for Mothership?

Haha everyone LOVES to talk about the masturbation stuff….like whattttt? Basically, we have everything you have ever wanted to explore safely in a non-intimidating way at MOTHERSHIP. It’s very choose-your-own-adventure. When we select events we look for people who are willing to collaborate with us and are excited about what they are presenting. It’s more about creating a really positive environment than anything.

Mothership Festival

We’re very excited about the music line-up! Tell us about some of the artists that will be performing.

Yes LET’S! I feel like the music is just so special this year. Maxine Ashley is coming over from NY, and she’s being doing some really cool stuff lately. Nikki Glaspie who used to drum with Beyonce is going to do some freestyle drumming. We have spoken word and poetry. Also Lily Kershaw will be kicking off the night, and she is just….she’s magical and haunting and such a sweet soul. Music begins at 6pm.

Mothership Festival

How would you like to see Mothership evolve in the future?

MOTHERSHIP is everchanging. I just want MOTHERSHIP to always be a place where women can step into their power, meet new people, feel safe and connected. I want there to always be some meat to the event; I want it to be more than a celebration of the feminine (which is awesome too!). It should always feel meaningful.

Mothership Festival is happening this weekend in Los Angeles! Get your tickets here.

Interview by Sara Nicolette.

Photos by Sam Snitzer and Victoria Craven.


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