Headlined by Stefflon Don, the music event is back to promote inclusivity within the industry.

Whilst the hype around the live music events of summer is always second to none, many of us forget the not-so-glamorous side of a predominantly male-led industry — the complete lack of equal representation. Finding this issue to be all the more potent in Sweden, the Swedish creative collective Ladieslovehiphop (LLHH) created a partnership with Live Nation Sweden and Luger to birth the Ladieslovehiphop Festival. With freedom, inclusivity and equality as its permanent headliners, the festival offers a safe space for music lovers and artists alike to enjoy a variety of music tastes new and old.

This year will be no different, offering the most stellar lineup including headliner Stefflon Don as well as Ayra Starr, Ivorian Doll, Shatbo and Baby Tate.

Being DJs themselves, the founders of LLHH have also invited plenty of acts and DJs, including the viral sensation Dreya Mac, ascending rap artist Cristale and alt-R&B rising star Ojerime.

Though the festival may take place in Sweden, LLHH Festival strives to achieve a global outreach — ensuring its mission to create a sense of belonging for all is driven home with full force. Before the main event, we sat with the founders of LLHH to uncover the companies discoveries, their missions and what they hope to achieve next.

The festival will take place on August 19th-20th this year, for more information and to book your tickets now, click here. Alternatively, to read the full interview, head below now…

Hey Ladieslovehiphop! How are you doing?
Heeey! We’re good and busy!

Tell us a little about Ladieslovehiphop Festival! How did it come about? What was the inspiration behind it?
Since we started our creative collective Ladieslovehiphop back in 2014 we dreamt of organizing our own festival but it wasn’t until five years later in 2019 that we decided to organize our first edition and started to dig deeper into what we wanted to do and why. Quite fast we discussed the lack of representation within the live scene both when it comes to equality and musical diversity, especially in Sweden. So that was an important reason why we felt that this initiative was needed. Music curation is also a big part of the festival. We carefully select every artist and DJ for our projects, and always want to create space for emerging artists to perform in front of a like-minded audience. By creating a boutique festival, we attract music lovers who understand the concept which leads to an audience who are quite like-minded and automatically that creates a sense of belonging which we also felt was much needed in Sweden.

What have been your highlights of the past festivals, can you pinpoint any favourite moments?
Due to the pandemic, we have only organized our first edition in 2019 which was held at an open-air club venue called Trädgården “The Garden”. We have many favourite moments like Nadia Rose’s performance, seeing our audience living their best life and also just us feeling proud of the outcome since we did it all by ourselves and worked very hard to make it happen.

Can you tell us about your partnership with Live Nation Sweden and Luger?
In partnership with Live Nation Sweden and Luger we will organize the festival in a bigger scope. Ladieslovehiphop will still be the creative directors of the festival and involved in every aspect of it but both partners will deliver a team of experts within each area.

And the festival is being headlined by Stefflon Don, Ayra Starr, Baby Tate and more! How do you decide on your headliners?
Since we’re DJs and very passionate about music, we always make sure to keep an eye on what we feel would fit our festival and projects. We have a broad taste when it comes to music and enjoy everything from Hip Hop, RnB, Soul, Afrobeats to Ampiano and are trying to include as much as we can.

Why is it important to you to keep a women-led artist lineup?
To curate a women-led artist lineup is absolutely a statement that hopefully evokes thoughts and inspiration for more organizers to think one extra turn on the power they have with their curation. With that being said we don’t exclude any artists; we will just always prioritize women.

How do you maintain a diversified and equal live music scene?
By doing similar initiatives like we’re doing with the festival in several aspects. Last year we also arranged a course about event organization together with ‘Changers Hub’ for younger people who have an interest in event organization, and that also led to us coaching some of them. It’s important to give back and create opportunities for the younger generation along the journey, that was something we lacked when we started out as teenagers.

What are you most excited about with this year’s event?
We are excited about the whole experience and to be able to enjoy the moment we’ve been looking forward to for so long! We can’t wait to meet the audience, eat good food, sing along when the artists perform and dance all night long whilst enjoying DJ sets from Uncle Waffles, Jordss, Adipop and many more.

How did you find the pandemic? Did you find it impacted your business in any way?
Honestly, the pandemic was exhausting and stressful, but the good thing about it was that we got time to regroup and prioritize what we want to focus on and had more time to explore new opportunities like our partnership with Live Nation and Luger.