WOW festival 2018 in your words and photos

Wednesday, March 14, 2018 - 12:17

How on earth do you even begin to sum up Women of the World? Five days packed with talks, discussions, performances and so much more celebrating and empowering women and girls. Thousands of you joined us for the weekend, so rather than bang on about our own festival, we thought we’d hand over to you, and celebrate WOW through your tweets, instagrams, words and photos.

OK, so we’re breaking that premise straight off, with one of our own tweets, but we were so thrilled to kick off the WOW weekend in emphatic style with a dedicated welcome message from global superstar Emma Watson, that we just had to share it again.

Emma Watson wasn’t the only high-profile ambassador to help us get WOW underway. On International Women’s Day, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan swung by to help kick off a day of celebrations with 200 future superstar schoolgirls.

Indeed, the voice of youth was a consistent thread of the festival this year and it was great to see the young women of Speakers Corner, a political, creative, social space in Bradford co-run by a collective of women and teenage girls, making a real impact on festival attendees.

As you can see the same group were also responsible for the undoubted winner of ‘outfit of the festival’, so let's take those capes in, in all their glory.

Throughout WOW our Royal Festival Hall was taken over by inspiring women and committed change-makers spreading the word about their brilliant causes.

And it was great to see so many people stopping by to find out more from groups such as the Young Women’s Trust (above) and Bloody Good Period (below).

If you were lucky enough you might’ve even bumped into one of your idols wandering round the festival.

Or if you didn’t catch them out and about then you will have still been able to come pretty close to them, whilst listening to some of the fantastic discussions and talks.

We also hosted a huge amount of musical talent over the course of the festival. From the emphatic and unmistakable sound of piper Louise Marshall… the soulful sound of the Refugee and Migrant Women choir, our performers ensured that WOW was anything but quiet.

But then, what could any women have anything to stay quiet about? This is WOW after all.

Over in our Archive Studio, The Feminist Library took over with a fascinating display of feminist treasures, including this great array of vintage badges. ‘Women who seek to be equal to men lack ambition’ a personal highlight.

Further empowerment and and thoughts on taking action could be found on the Royal Festival Hall stage on Friday night as prominent activists Patrisse Khan-Cullors, Laura Bates and Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu took part in the eagerly anticipated talk event No More.

The following night the same stage was the place to be yet again as it hosted not one, but two best-selling authors as Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Renni Eddo-Lodge served up a frank, fascinating and incredibly entertaining conversation.


Saturday eve in excellent company #wowfestival #wowldn

A post shared by @ blaquereads on

But of course we weren’t all about talking, there was plenty of action too across the WOW festival site, from the swords of Muslim Girls Fencing...


Young ladies fencing at the #WOW festival. #Swordplay #FinishingSchool #wowtweetuk #wowldn

A post shared by Shady (@coffeebookshelves) on the suplexes of Pro Wrestling Eve who went down a storm on the Festival Terrace with their typically energetic display.

But you know, the main thing about WOW, is not about us putting on such a packed event programme, but how that programme ultimately resonates with you.


Another year another #WOWLDN

A post shared by Meg Boyd (@meganboyd91) on

So, job well done, we’d say.


She looked over the weekend of #WoWLDN... and she thought it good.

A post shared by Felicity (@felicitybaines) on

Us too Felicity. Us too.


If you missed out on WOW - Women of the World, you can relive some of the inspiring talks and discussions with our collection of podcasts from the festival.

listen to the podcast playlist

Or if you prefer to see some video, you can watch Patrisse Khan-Cullors, Laura Bates and Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu in discussion, in this video from No More.

watch the video

WOW 2018 would not be possible without its generous sponsors and supporters: Bloomberg, UBS, American International Group Inc (AIG) and The Chartered Insurance Institute