Jude Kelly launched WOW London in 2011 to mark the centenary of International Women’s Day, as a major global festival that celebrates women and girls and looks at the obstacles they face, where hundreds of women’s stories could be shared, feelings vented, fun had, minds influenced and hearts expanded. In response to an overwhelming demand Southbank Centre have been fostering a growing global network of festivals. Already in four other countries WOW is scheduled to spread to four more next year, and throughout the same across the UK.
The festival is made up of talks, debates, performances, gigs, free music, a marketplace, speed-mentoring, a crèche, exhibitions, workshops, networking opportunities and happenings throughout, presenting world class and emerging talent. WOW is for everyone, it is bold and broad-based in its approach, both lively and serious, and feeds the demand to discuss anything and everything. It brings people together from all corners of society - both speakers and audience members - energising and providing the inspiration and tools to make change.
“As Artistic Director of Southbank Centre and a female leader, WOW directly expresses many of the aspirations, dilemmas and dramatic challenges that I’ve witness throughout my life and still see mirrored in the female population across the world”