Southbank Centre’s WOW – Women of the World Festival, which celebrates and recognises the achievements of women and girls and takes a frank look at what stops them from achieving their potential, comes to Bradford for the first time next month on 5 – 6 November. Supported by Spirit of 2012, Southbank Centre is expanding its global WOW network of festivals to create nine new WOWs in five cities across the UK to mark the centenary of female suffrage in 2018. Bradford is the first northern city to host one of these WOWs, and will produce the festival there for the next three years. Events take place at Kala Sangam Arts Centre and Bradford Cathedral.
Since it was founded by Jude Kelly CBE at Southbank Centre in 2010, WOW has fast become the largest women’s festival movement in the world, taking place across five continents, in countries from Pakistan to the USA.
WOW Bradford presents an opportunity for hundreds of women and men, boys and girls from across the city to come together under one roof and celebrate the achievements of women and girls. Music, dance, theatre, performance, poetry and comedy all feature heavily throughout the festival. WOW also creates a safe space for the discussion of hard-hitting issues which affect women and girls, not just on a local level, but nationally and internationally as well. Subjects including domestic abuse, prostitution, grooming, FGM, shame, body image, and men and feminism are all explored. Local organisations such as Staying Put, 4women, Karma Nirvana, WUR Bradford, Mind the Gap Studios, Dance United, White Ribbon Campaign, Equity Partnership, E5 project, Peacemakers International, and Tapepuka are taking part, as well as activists and national speakers.
Artistic Director and WOW founder Jude Kelly CBE said: “WOW – Women of the World Festivals are designed to be agents of change in their host cities, providing a space for women to participate in discussion, education and collaboration on the issues that most impact their lives. Launched in 2011 in London, WOW Festivals have engaged and inspired more than one million women across five continents and cities in Australia, Egypt, India, Pakistan, the U.K., and at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem. WOW is the biggest gathering of women and girls across the globe, and I’m so pleased that Bradford is part of this story for change. ”
The WOW festival will feature prominent activists, speakers, business women, artists, sports people and campaigners including Malala Yousafzai, Jasvinder Sanghera, Kay Mellor, Salma Yaqoob, Kersten England, Alyas Karmani, Omari Caro, Bea Campbell, Róisín Ingle, Asif Quraishi, Ambreen Sadiq, Saira Tabusum, Rachel Morris, Shaista Aziz and many more.
To book, please call Southbank Centre Ticket Office on: 0207 960 4200 or book online at