The divine feminine festival aka YOLA DíA made its debut at LA Historic Park featuring Lykke Li, Cat Power, Sophie, Megan Thee Stallion, and more. Brought together by Lykke Li and Yola Mezcal, Yola Día made history as the first mainstream female headlined (exclusive) music festival is years. This honestly was like a breath of fresh air and even the entire aesthetic of the festival was strongly present through and through. Light spring colors against strong drink and good music was what really tied the knot and helped kick off what was to be a really great - dare I say - perfect summer day for a festival.
Walking into the park grounds guests were greeted with a lovely display of banners that created a tunnel of art proudly blowing in the breeze. These banners were all designed by female artists and complimented the blue sky and cityscape in the background. Festival goers weaved in and out of the art and shared their experiences on their stories and feeds. Sooner than later, people were walking around with pizza and hand crafted cocktails which were also curated by female bartenders around the city.
Lia Ices kicked off the festivities on the main stage and serenaded the crowd from behind her piano keys while more and more people filled the venue. The schedule changed for CupcakKe’s performance due to travel delays but that didn't stop her from performing “Deepthroat” to a full crowd after SOPHIE pulled a dazzling DJ set prior. Empress Of gave a powerful and exciting performance with lead Lorely Rodriguez running and jumping all over the damn place like an angel. The two band members were fully in sync and it was like magic when they would lock eyes and then go ham on their instruments. 2018's electropop hit "Us" still has me gushing. (Trust Me Baby omg).
Being that we stand in such a pivotal moment in history, nothing is more important than community and social responsibility...especially in Los Angeles. It was calming to see volunteers from HeadCount making their rounds with their clipboards registering people to vote. Giving hope that there will be a change in the world that we have all been holding our breath for. Yola Día also partnered with PLUS1 to cultivate a social justice experience for festival goers. The lovely ladies from the Downtown Women’s Center were present selling handcrafted goods and every ticket purchased meant $1 for the DTLA Women’s Center. Labor activist Dolores Huerta even made an appearance onstage to fire up the crowd about the importance of equal pay and the end of discrimination.
Then Kelsey Lu hit the stage and graced fans with her soulful aurora. The cello balanced perfectly between her thighs took the festival to another world. The entirety of her performance was a nod to the power femininity truly has in a live setting. Everything about it was gorgeous.
The stacked lineup made for a well rounded and inclusive day by giving fans soul, hip hop, electronic and more. If you listened closely to the conversations around you, Megan Thee Stallion was definitely the freaking buzz. Her performance was top priority before the sun set over a glittery skyline. Even though her set was less than 20 minutes she stunned everyone. Stunning. Like, everyone wished they were on the stage with Megan so she could twerk in their face and if they weren't thinking it - they were drunk. All the loyal “Hotties” were at full attention while she blasted through her set, hanging onto every lyric.
As the evening set in, Courtney Love demystified the crowd by cracking jokes and playing an unbelievably punk set. Her presence alone was an honor (wow remember when she was on RuPaul's Drag Race as the best judge ever) and her voice covered the entire park, even entertaining people all the way in the back sitting under the trees in the last bits of shade. Cat Power really started off as an enigma during her performance. She layered in these amazing synthesizers that enhanced her vocals during her set and gave us all something to crave. Her tremendous vibe was calming and amazing. Last but not least was Lykke Li. Don’t forget that she played a huge part in the festival coming together and it was important to a lot of people to see her headline a major festival. After this success it would be amazing to start seeing it happen more often since it has since proved a success (duh) thanks to Beychella 18’. Coated in red light and shiny leather, Lykke Li’s heat and classic bops lifted the crowd late into the night.
No one really cared that Monday was only a couple hours away because they were too busy dancing along with Li. This new festival was the act of putting a new foot forward. It gives our generation hope that the future will be more inclusive and nondiscriminatory and if it takes promoting more female festivals like Yola - so be it. This was truly a fantastic night in Los Angeles.