Leading Rock Critic to Give Belfast Talk

Former Pitchfork editor and feminist writer Jessica Hopper will deliver a keynote at next month's Women's Work festival

Leading music critic and feminist writer Jessica Hopper has been announced as keynote speaker for Women's Work, a series of events in Belfast celebrating the role of women in music and fascilitating discussion around industry issues.

The festival runs from March 4 to 11, with an array of live showcases, workshops and expert talks taking place at various venues in the city. Hopper will speak as part of a day of panel sessions, crafts and more at the Oh Yeah Centre on Sunday, March 6.

One of today’s most important voices in music journalism, she is currently editorial director for Music at MTV, having previously worked as Senior Editor at Pitchfork and the Music Editor at Rookie. Her latest book, The First Collection of Criticism By A Living Female Rock Critic, anthologizes the last 15 years of her work.

Hopper’s work has been described as influential by the New York Times and has earned her a reputation as a firebrand, a keen observer and fearless critic not just of music but also the culture around it. Her keynote in 2015 at BigSound Festival in Australia has been widely praised.

Hopper’s Belfast talk will focus on the international conversation around inclusivity in the music industry, what is changing and what that means for everyone involved, as how accessibility and an equal playing field for women is the path to success . The keynote will take place at 3pm and is set to be inspiring and encouraging for any music fan.

The afternoon will also include a panel with award winning music blogger Nialler9, Body & Soul festival booker Jenny Wren and Irish Times writer Tanya Sweeny. Later that day the subject of women in live sound and studio engineering will be up for discussion with Julie McLarnon from Analogue Catalogue studio and Una Monaghan, while Belfast music collective Go Girl and To Be Beautiful feature as part of an evening showcase.

Somewhere between Beatle-mania and Beiber-mania, we’ve lost sight of the capacity young women have to anticipate, sustain and add cultural value to the experience of music. We need everybody to show up for women. - Jessica Hopper, BigSound Festival keynote

Elsewhere, 50-year broadcasting veteran Annie Nightingale will be in conversation and DJing a special launch night party on March 4 and a closing celebration will showcase some of Northern Ireland's brightest young female artists as part of International Women's Day on March 11.

Register free for Jessica Hopper's keynote on March 6 here. For further details and forthcoming updates visit www.womensworkni.com or follow the Oh Yeah Centre on Facebook.