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WOW Manchester

24 May - 26 May

Celebrate women, girls and non-binary people with the first WOW – Women of the World Festival in Manchester.

Fresh from Festivals in Pakistan, Istanbul and Athens, WOW will be taking over Aviva Studios with inspirational activists, speakers and performers. Come and explore the bustling Marketplace, get stuck into a creative workshop or have your say at one of our Conversation Stations.

Over two days and three evenings the world’s biggest, most comprehensive festival celebrating women, girls and non-binary people will bring together inspiring speakers, including Australia’s first woman Prime Minister Julia Gillard, actors Maxine Peake and Zawe Ashton, Manchester legend DJ Paulette, author Chimene Suleyman, and activist Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe to find solutions to the pressing issues of gender inequality and celebrate the achievements of women, girls and non-binary people both in the Northwest and globally.

Three headline evening events will take place across the weekend. On Saturday evening, long-time friends and co-conspirators Sandi Toksvig and Jude Kelly CBE will discuss their years of friendship, during which they have witnessed and been a part of huge global change and experienced personal triumphs as well as devastating setbacks. Sandi and Jude will take an uplifting look at how their personal lives have affected the work that they do and the power and importance of female friendship.

On Sunday evening musician, broadcaster and actor Jordan Stephens will take part in a rare in-conversation drawing on his own experiences of finding fame as a teenager in Rizzle Kicks, navigating success, heartbreak, hedonism, addiction and what happens when it all comes crashing down. Jordan and a special guest host will explore how his relationship with women, men and masculinity has changed and how he’s learnt to love himself again.

As previously announced, artist and author, Melanie Brown will be joined by journalist and co-author Louise Gannon on the Friday evening to celebrate the launch of her critically acclaimed memoir, Brutally Honest, sharing an unfiltered discussion on Mel’s journey from being a Spice Girl and global icon, to Women’s Aid patron and champion for survivors of abuse.

New sessions and speakers have also been announced as part of the daytime programme. Featuring a different line-up each day, audiences will be provided with the opportunity to choose from a wide variety of events and discussions housed within a huge central marketplace as well as taking place throughout Aviva Studios’ many different spaces. Household names, local activists and artists will present their big ideas to change the world, whilst inspiring thinkers, activists and world-class speakers will hold frank and lively sessions on everything from the murky history of the fashion industry to urgent conversations around women and conflict with accounts from first hand survivors. Further speakers and sessions to be announced.

WOW Manchester welcomes people of all ages and genders. Whether you’re a seasoned activist or dipping your toes into ideas about gender equity for the first time, WOW Manchester is for you.

Book WOW Manchester at Factory International



24 May
26 May
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Factory International
Water Street
Manchester, M3 4JQ United Kingdom
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