5 Events to See at The WOW Festival 2105

The WOW Festival (Women of the World) takes place at the Southbank Centre between 1 – 8 March 2015. It is a global festival that celebrates the achievements of women and girls and also looks at the obstacles that prevent them from achieving their potential and contributing to the world. I go every year and totally LOVE it.

The line up is worth writing about itself. The contributors are the top players in their field, and the event is relaxed and informal, making the talks, workshops and interviews really engaging. You might not agree with everyone who speaks up, nor should you. That’s the idea, the subjects up for discussion are there to get you thinking, and will certainly move you at some point too.

I’m a seasoned fan. I really feel quite excited about just being there, amongst all the action. Why? Well because there is a certain warmth and feistiness in the air, call that feminism, sister-hood, or a mothers meeting, I’m not fussed, I just love that so many people who get involved are passionate, and all care about women in all their glory.

Jude Kelly_WOW 2012_CREDIT Belinda Lawley

Oh! and what’s more throughout the festival, you get to see the Queen of the Southbank ‘Jude Kelly’ in her full glory, charing debates, and interviewing various impressive people. I bet you 100 cups of tea, that when you see her in action, you too will get a sister-crush on her, she is just a bl**dy brilliant woman!

I wouldn’t blame you for thinking the opposite, but men are hugely welcomed, and in-fact their input is also really appreciated when the issues discussed are so relevant to them in so many very important ways.

WOW 2012 Audience3_CREDIT Belinda Lawley

DAILY or 3-DAY (Friday – Sunday) PASS to the FESTIVAL

WOW Friday is focussed on women in the workplace. Come as part of your professional development and meet with some of the leading brains in business, social enterprise and leadership. Network with women from across the career spectrum and hear from a whole range of professionals in the world of work and entrepreneurship. Other subjects include austerity, male-dominated careers, pay rises, domestic violence and campaigning. Alongside the WOW activities, come and be one of thousands to take part in our speed-mentoring session this year, hosted by a special guest speaker. WOW Saturday and Sunday continues with talks, debates, workshops, seminars and performances to feed your mind, nourish your soul and quench your thirst for knowledge.

Baulkham Hills African Ladies Troupe_Southbank Centre's WOW Festival_credit_Lisa Tomasetti


The Baulkham Hills African Ladies Troupe turn tales of suffering into a joyous theatre of humanity. With the help of other African women – singers and actors – they take this opportunity to be who they want, say what they want, and become as amazing as they can be. This is how they celebrate a new beginning in a land of refuge.

Thursday 5 – Saturday 7 March, 7.45pm, Southbank Centre’s Purcell Room, £15, UK PREMIERE

Caitlin Moran


She talks to Southbank Centre Artistic Director Jude Kelly about her new book, How to Build a Girl, and invites her friends and those who inspire her to take us through their favourite bits.

Saturday 7th March, 7.30pm, Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall

No Heart, No Guts, No Glory_WOW 2015_L-R, Mariam Rashid, Shifaa Arfan, Seherish Mahmood, Freyaa Ali (Credit- Christopher Nunn)


Based on interviews with Muslim female boxers, this powerful production was devised in collaboration with five 16 – 23-year-old Muslim women and former national champion Ambreen Sadiq. With a live electronic sound score, epic visual design, cinematic lighting and the energy of a club, this immersive show explores being young, fearless and doing the unexpected.

Thursday 5 – Sunday 8 March, 1.30pm and 7.30pm (Thu 1pm & 7.30pm, Sun 1.30pm only), Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall, £15, LONDON PREMIERE

WOW 2012_Speed Mentoring4_CREDIT Belinda Lawley


WOW Sunday (Day Pass)

The day is packed full of mind opening discussion, talks, debates and workshops. If you see anything, try the Wonder Women of the Ancient World event with Bettany Hughes and Charlotte Higgins. The will discuss the greatest names and lost heroines of women from the prehistoric and ancient worlds – women who were either wonderful or about whom we should wonder, looking at the secret and sensational history of super heroines from mother goddesses to Medea and Aphrodite to Cleopatra. There are so many great events happening over the long weekend, that you really need to dig around the Southbank pages.

Please share what you’re looking forward to, I’d love to know and will hold a place at the bar on Friday afternoon for all of you that want to chew the fat a little longer. xo

Image Credits :

All Women Orchestra Mirth Control CREDIT Linda Nylind
Baulkham Hills African Ladies Troupe CREDIT Lisa Tomasetti
Caitlin Moran CREDIT Mark Harrison

Jude Kelly CREDIT Belinda Lawley
No Heart, No Guts, No Glory CREDIT Sophie Gerrard

Speed Mentoring CREDIT Belinda Lawley