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Drawing on fieldwork conducted at eight women's music festivals, Eileen M. Hayes shows how studying these festivals--attended by predominately white lesbians--provides critical insight into the role of music and lesbian community formation. She argues that the women's music festival is a significant institutional site for the emergence of black feminist consciousness in the contemporary period. Hayes also offers sage perspectives on black women's involvement in the women's music festival scene, the ramifications of their performances as drag kings in those environments, and the challenges and joys of a black lesbian retreat based on the feminist festival model. With acuity and candor, longtime feminist activist Hayes elucidates why this music scene matters. Veteran vocalist, percussionist, producer, and cultural historian Linda Tillery provides a foreword.
Eileen M. Hayes is an associate professor of music and the chair of the division of music history, theory, and ethnomusicology at the University of North Texas. She is the coeditor of Black Women and Music: More than the Blues.