On Oct. 16, the all-women F.I.R.E. festival will take place at the Oswego Music Hall from 1-5 P.M., featuring a wide variety of artists, musicians, and businesses.
The F.I.R.E. festival was created by Jess Novak, who performs alongside the Jess Novak band. She has performed over all over the country, recorded multiple albums, and is an award-winning journalist. The festival was created because of the frustration caused by all-men lineups at festivals.
As a musician, I’ve been on so many festivals where women are under-represented or when they are included, are only singers. While there’s nothing wrong with amazing female vocalists, I wanted to be sure we presented more than that. I want original music writers and players. I want female-run businesses and brilliant artists to decorate the walls. I want to transform the space in an effort to show that Central New York is bursting with female talent. I also want to provide young ladies with something I wish I had when I was a kid-proof that we can do and create whatever we dream.Jess Novak
The event is part of the Oswego Music Hall guest curator series where people from the community pitch event ideas to utilize the space. Novak planned the event at a downtown location back in March 2020 but COVID stopped it from happening. She wasn’t sure she wanted to do it again, but women kept coming to her asking her if she was going to plan it, and that inspired her to make it happen.
The lineup for the festival is all women, including the vendors and businesses. Musicians include local performers Ella Drotar, Ashley Cox and Novak along with many others, and world-renowned violinist, Lydia Violet.
Novak, who is also seven months pregnant, will be celebrating a new book and the release of a new album. Copies of the book, “Dare to Begin” will be available for sale for the first time at a public show. All ages, and people, are welcome to the F.I.R.E. festival, and admittance is $8.