B*TCH FEST: One-day Van Nuys fest puts women at forefront Saturday

Up-and-coming indie rockers BTCHKRFT are still new to the Los Angeles music scene, but are already giving back to the community in the form of B*TCH FEST. A festival showcasing female-fronted bands and artists, B*TCH FEST takes place Saturday, May 26 at White Oaks Music and Arts in Van Nuys.

“B*TCH FEST has been a long time coming,” said BTCHKRFT guitarist and vocalist Avital van Leeuwen. “I’m a huge supporter and fangirl when it comes to female musicians, especially in the rock genre, so it has been a dream of mine for many years to organize a music festival showcasing exclusively female talent.”

In a festival landscape where the majority of events seemingly still adhere to the old school of thought that mopey dudes with guitars are where indie rock begins and ends and marginalize the music of women in their booking practices, B*TCH FEST comes as a refreshing change of pace. BTCHKRFT planned the showcase to give back to their community while uplifting and empowering female artists and combatting the industry’s rampant sexism.


“It’s not easy for women in the music industry, and in my opinion female artists make up a huge portion of the most innovative music released in the last decade,” said van Leeuwen. “When my bandmate Santos [de Stefani] brought up wanting to give back to our local music community, we all agreed that planning our very own female fronted music festival was the way to go.”

B*TCH FEST features a wide array of indie artists from throughout the LA area, including Valley rockers The Residency, “personal/political punk” trio The Groans, the “sad girl three-piece pop band” Suzie True, and Moonily, which also features BTCHKRFT guitarist Safaa Kaderi. The hotly buzzed-about Brooklyn punk trio Thick will also make their LA-area debut at B*TCH FEST before playing the Hi Hat and The Echo.

Tickets are $10 in advance via Eventbrite or $12 at the door. View the full lineup of bands below!

White Oaks Music and Arts, a community music education center and integral part of the San Fernando Valley music scene, is located at 17646 Sherman Way in Van Nuys. Doors open at 3:30 p.m.

Words and photos by Frank Mojica