In celebration of today being International Women’s Day, we thought it was the perfect opportunity to highlight some of the amazing Women and non-binary promoters that stand at the forefront of Newcastle's electronic music scene.
Behind every night is a relentless promoter, somewhere in the shadows of the dance floor. These people are at the heartbeat of the scene, pumping out the bookings and pulling everyone together under one roof. The North-East has always been a melting pot for young promoters edging their way into the scene, but even when we started Ape-X in 2008, it was rare to find women and non-binary promoters. So here are some of the people and events that are leading the way right now…
Music Sphere: Becky Woodcock
Music Sphere has become one of the emerging nights for garage and breakbeat heads alike. The vibe-driven night formed from the minds of Ape-X resident Becky Woodcock and our good friend Adam Macdonald.
The party has grown from strength to strength after testing out a series of guest mixes, blogs, and after-parties with friends. Over the last 12 months, we have seen the Music Sphere crew host Breka, Phasmid, Gibba and soon to be El Murph and Tañ.
“We've always wanted to ensure our content is diverse and reflects the wider community of dancers, producers, and DJs, however, we didn't want this to be our unique selling point. We do this because we genuinely love all of these artists and truly believe in their talent, not because diversity is becoming a necessity for success. True diversity doesn't need to be shouted about, otherwise, it comes across as tokenism (And we really, really hate tokenism)” - Becky Woodcock
Bend and Shake: Chantel Herbet
Bend & Shake is currently one of the most open-minded and free-spirited communities in the North-East. The party is run by women and non-binary People of Colour from Sister Shack CIC. Everyone is welcome, but this event aims to provide a safe space for women, non-binary people, trans women, trans men, asylum seekers, and QIPOC.
Head party started Chantel Herbert recognized a need for stronger representation of these minorities and has been striving to create a safe haven for the people of Bend and Shake parties.
“My latest event Bend&Shake was a way to create a space for Queer People of Colour that was safe and welcoming, and I think that so far, this has worked well. Most of the feedback has been very positive” Chantel
Ghetec is a female-led electronic music party from local DJ Boo. The series of parties was re-launched in 2022 with a mission to create fully sensory parties and a platform for boundary-less self-expression. Their first show back saw OK Williams make her long-awaited North-East debut.
The party pushes dynamic, forward-thinking electronic music in the region by bringing DJs to the city for their debut performances whilst shining a light on underrepresented local talent.
“We look to create a space that is fun, carefree, and safe. Our core DJs so far are Annie Marron, Jacklyn, and Boo. We’re always looking for new talent!”
L.A.D.S: Annie Marron
LADS is an amazing female-led open deck event based in Cobalt Studios. It is usually hosted by Ape-X regular Annie Marron and offers a space for aspiring women and non-binary artists to take up a spin on a pair of CDJS and chat with some more music-driven people.
“Come and meet other like-minded women who love music and are already DJ-ing or would like to learn for chatting, mixing, sharing notes and generally addressing the lack of women (or those identifying as women) on the decks in this city”
Avant Sector: Stef Grips
Avant Sector is a collective of local creatives, DJs and music enthusiasts. This is one of the freshest parties to touch down in Newcastle over the last 12 months, championing a night for the Junglist, D&B heads and anything that pushes on the accelerator.
Steff Grips aka INTRA is one of the collective members, who has been leading the charge for female creatives in the North East and beyond. Not only is Stef a mastermind behind the decks, but her 3D design alias ‘INTRA’ has also gained over 16k followers and displays some of the most outrageous design tricks we’ve ever seen.
DFTL: Charlotte Maughan
DFTL is a female DJ collective based in Newcastle Upon Tyne, led up by Charlotte Maughan. This started as an event to showcase and find female talent in what was a male-dominated industry in the North.
In recent times the collective has taken on several bookings across World Headquarters, Cosmic Ballroom, The Lofts, and Distrikt Leeds. DFTL has helped contribute to a positive shift in creating more balanced line-ups and we can’t wait to see what they will do next.