On the nights of Aug. 26 and 27, New Brookland Tavern will be filled with underrepresented music artists, glitter and tampons. Hoechella, Columbia’s newest music festival, is a spinoff from the popular music festival Coachella and aims to raise awareness about slut and body shaming, rape culture and legislation involving one’s bodily rights.
“The inspiration comes from my being black and queer and misrepresented, for one thing," said Bakari Lebby, creator of the music event. "It also comes from frustration with body shaming and slut shaming.”
Throughout the festival, 10 bands, including local groups such as Glittoris and Debbie and the Skanks, are scheduled to play. Many band members are female, identify as queer or are people of color.
“I'm really excited to see all these bands and all these people in a place where they can be themselves and not worry about being aggressively hit on or cat-called or shamed for what they're wearing or how they're dancing,” Lebby said.
Hoechella, although free, is accepting donations for Girls Rock Columbia and Girls Rock Charleston, organizations that seek to empower girls and transgender youth. T-shirt sales will also benefit the two partner organizations. Glittoris is collecting feminine products for The Women’s Shelter in Columbia, an organization that assists women in times of crisis.
In addition to the live music, a “glitter booth” provided by Scenario Collective, a local art group, will also be present alongside a photo booth and live Snapchatting. Seaboard Recording Studios will also be at the music festival, recording sets to be released online after the event at a “pay as you want” rate.
Striving to empower members of the Columbia area and beyond, Lebby hopes to shower individuals who often feel underrepresented or misplaced in society with inspiration and support.
“The event fills a hole in our community ... I'm stoked to see dope black, brown, queer, female people just living and having fun," Lebby said. "I'm excited to see a community.”