A festival with WOW factor returns to Rotherham

This June, Rotherham town centre will host a festival of colour, conversation and culture as WOW Women of the World Festival Rotherham returns for a second year. 

After the success of last year’s inaugural event, WOW Rotherham, which celebrates women, girls, and non-binary people, is back with a new location on Saturday 10th June.  

The town centre will become a festival hub, with a variety of free creative workshops, performances, and talks taking place in All Saints Square and various venues on High Street and Imperial Buildings.  

At the heart of the festival will be the WOW Marketplace in the Minster Gardens, with a mix of stalls from female-led businesses selling everything from spices to slogan t-shirts. 

WOW Rotherham is part of the worldwide WOW Festival movement, the biggest and most comprehensive festival dedicated to women, girls, and non-binary people. It celebrates their achievements while also looking closely at what barriers are still preventing them from achieving their full potential. 

Inspired by the positive impact of last year’s event, a host of businesses have signed up to be part of WOW Rotherham 2023. Venues including Hygge @ Rise community cafe, The Ministry coffee shop, Broadway Diner, Riverside Records, Society hair salon, and Holy Ghost Tattoo Collective will be getting involved in a whole range of creative ways, from hosting talks and performances, to curating window displays and sharing special food offers throughout the day. 

Listen and learn about some of the most pressing issues impacting gender equality, such as parenting and childcare, work and skills, diversity and a warm welcome, body positivity, gender identity and sexuality, and mental health and wellbeing.  

WOW Rotherham is a chance for everyone to share their stories and discuss solutions to change the world for the women of tomorrow. 

This year’s festival is about being inclusive and having conversations, with pockets of joy and inspiration for all ages. Throughout the day there will be an art trail featuring a variety of outdoor performances.  

Serving up warm words from their burger van will be Poetry Takeaway, the world’s first mobile poetry emporium, who will be delivering poetry workshops to whet your creative writing appetite.  

Be enthralled by Mimbre acrobatic theatre as their female performers explore what it means when one body is carried by another in their touring show, Lifted. 

A generation is on the move, and it will be time to get into the groove as Compact Disco dances into town with their oversized disco ball made entirely from old CDs. Request a song from your discotheque era that makes you jump back into boogie wonderland. 

And don’t forget to take your seat for a musical moment like no other as Bootworks Theatre Company present The JukeBoxes, featuring slapstick versions of famous singers re-creating classic pop music videos in a lip-syncing musical medley. 

Tasked with bringing people together is community producer, Noor Salih who has been working alongside community groups and independent businesses to create a festival Rotherham can be proud of. WOW Rotherham has also seen a team of trainee festival makers aged between 16-25 get involved as part of the WOWsers programme which aims to help tackle the challenges of gender inequality through arts and creative careers.