June 25, 2011

IconGOGO Festival 2011: review

2,500 women, 50 performers, one giant, muddy field. What’s not to love? Milly Shaw reviews lesbian festival GO.GO.

If British summer festivals earn their stripes by braving the rain, then GO.GO can now proudly declare itself a firm fixture in the summer festival calendar.

Go.Go 2011 was a fabulous, if soggy, weekend. 2,500 women came, camped and danced. Many also swooned for Heather Peace, the undeniable star of the weekend. Ms Peace charmed the crowds and was charmed in return, as hundreds of fans sang happy birthday to her.

Freemasons, Jill Jackson and Betty were the other obvious crowd-pleasers, but the surprise hit for many included the little-known Israeli band Terry Poison, an electroclash outfit fronted by a spectacular frontwoman reminiscent of a gloriously unhinged, young Madonna.

Other musical highlights included much-underrated stripped-back punk rock band (hooker), and Heads.Hearts, an explosive electro-dance guitar band. Red n Pink were also excellent fun, pouting and rapping like a lesbian Daphne and Celeste.

There was also disappointment, however, over the absence of Uh Huh Her due to illness. Unforeseen circumstances, are, of course unforeseen, but several fans had bought day tickets just to see the duo perform and had justifiable complains over how the news was communicated: the announcement warranted just a brief note on the GO.GO Facebook wall and no mention on the official GO.GO website.

Betty took Uh Huh Her’s place on the Saturday night, making them the headline act on both the Saturday and Sunday nights – much to the delight of their fans. The decision also doubled their chance to win over a few casual passers-by, who might have just turned up to hear the L Word theme.

Putting the second stage in a tent was a smart move considering the temperamental British climate, and the Sunday afternoon comedy proved exceptionally popular. Revellers sheltering from the monsoon were treated to Suzi Ruffell, Rosie Wilby and Zoe Lyons, all on top form, but the stage arguably belonged to Jen Brister, back from her recent Australia tour sharper than ever.

While the line-ups provided great entertainment, the overwhelmingly positive aspect of GO.GO was its fantastic atmosphere. If you’re single then GO.GO is definitely a good way to meet people, what with the singles area in the campsite and seemingly chaotic 300-women speed dating session. But it’s also the kind of place where it’s just easy to make friends – we witnessed camping neighbours bond over a shared love of singing Dolly Parton songs, and overheard two families with children arranging to go away on another camping weekend together.

So the Lesbilicious verdict on GO.GO: friendly, fun and a definite new highlight of the summer.

See GO.GO pictures on the Lesbilicious Facebook page.

Did you go to GO.GO? Fill in the online feedback form for a chance to win two full weekend tickets for GO.GO 2012.

7 Responses to GOGO Festival 2011: review

  1. Cheeky says:

    why did Uh-her not show? was any reason given?

  2. Cheeky says:

    why was u-her not there? did they excuse themselves

  3. Cheeky says:

    why was leisha hayleys band absent?

  4. Dana says:

    Yes, it was particularly shitty of the organisers to not publicise the cancellation of Uh Huh Her. They knew since the Thursday but chose not to update the website or put any notice on the festival site. That is my opinion was quite dishonest.

  5. Suzy says:

    You forgot to mention Never the Bride on the Sunday, they were very good. I certainly will check where they are playing next!

  6. Claire says:

    Was a good weekend despite the weather. The dance/comedy tent was a great idea although the workshops left a lot to be desired! Terry Poison stole the show!

Milly Shaw


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