Sirens Festival: celebrating women in alternative music

Sirens Festival

Emalyth 2019 Sirens Festival

Johannesburg, South Africa: August 9 is synonymous with Women’s Day in South Africa. It’s a full blown public holiday where society is given the opportunity to reflect, act strongly, or even celebrate. There are many contexts deserving of attention and highlight on this day, and the spirit remains that whatever one does, we keep women in focus.

One particularly hardy spirit and friend of M4A is the long-time promoter behind Emalyth events, Sashquita Northey. Sashquita has proven herself to be a formidable force within the local metal landscape, coming from humble origins more than a decade ago. She’s stamped an impression on the local scene and is using some of her clout to bring focus to other women active in metal.

Each band performing at her Sirens festival will feature at least one woman participant.

“I think it’s important for us to acknowledge these women as role models for other women and especially young girls to pick up an instrument and get on stage. I hope that by attending this event many ladies will be inspired to create and contribute towards South African metal music.” ~ Sashquita Northey

Sistas of Metal 2018 Angola
Sistas of Metal live in Angola: photograph by José Alves

Sirens Festival

The Sirens Festival is not Sashquita’s first time exploring this concept. She did one several years ago, but owing to other commitments – particularly surrounding the Wacken Metal Battle where she has been in Germany in early August – Sirens was not possible again until now. She hopes to set it up as an annual event from this point onward.

“Woman’s Day is a great reason to celebrate the brave and talented Women who contribute to the South African metal music community. I say ‘brave’ because in South Africa women are still very much a minority when it comes to performing metal music, and so these women should be admired being able to break through those barriers and take to the stage.” ~ Sashquita Northey (promoter, Emalyth)

Line-up and running times for Sirens:

17:00 – 17:30 Apocalypse Later
17:45 – 18:15 Polar Dust
18:30 – 19:00 Posthumous
19:15 – 19:45 Omentum
20:00 – 20:30 Hiraeth
20:45 – 21:15 HOKUM
21:30 – 22:00 Riddlebreak
22:15 – 22:45 Terminatryx (CAPE TOWN)
23:00 – 23:30 Sistas of Metal

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Terminatryx 2018
Terminatryx, fronted by Sonja Ruppersberg-Blom
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