Lilith Fair returns, but who should play?


Listen up ladies — Lilith is back. The popular all-female music festival of the 90s is coming back in 2010. Thirteen years after Sarah McLachlan and her singing sisters first showed the world that women could roar and fill arenas, her Lilith Faith returns to remind us all over again.

The announcement was launched along with the festival’s new website, So far no artists have been confirmed, but the site includes links to Sarah’s Twitter feed and a free download to one of her songs, so we can only assume she’ll be part of the show.

The page does reveal the first set of cities (though no exact dates) that the festival will hit. They are: Atlanta, Boston, Calgary, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Montreal, New York, Philadelphia, Portland, Seattle, San Francisco, Toronto, Vancouver, Washington, D.C. and for you European ladies London.

In her announcement, Lilith fair co-founder Terry McBride said:

I can’t reveal anything further now, but I can assure fans that we have some exciting announcements over the course of the following weeks, from confirmed artists to additional cities to innovative social initiatives. Lilith 2010 is very much upon us.

During its run from 1997 to 1999, Lilith was the highest-grossing touring festival around, attracting 1.5 million fans and raising over $10 million for charities. Performers included founder McLachlan as well as Sheryl Crow, Fiona Apple, Jewel, Paula Cole, Natalie Merchant, Erykah Badu, The Dixie Chicks, Missy Elliot, The Pretenders, Nelly Furtado and many more. It also featured several out queer artists like Tegan and Sara, Indigo Girls, Tracy Chapman, Me’shell Ndegeocello and K’s Choice (formerly fronted by Sarah Bettens).

So who would we like to see play in 2010? While the original festival largely had a laid-back folky, female singer-songwriter vibe, I expect the new incarnation to be both poppier and possibly edgier. I’d love a repeat performance by Tegan and Sara and I could see other out artists like Brandi Carlile, Missy Higgins, Kaki King and Uh Huh Her fit perfectly in the lineup.

As for the rest I say they go crazy and have everyone from M.I.A. to Eve and — yes — Lady Gaga. I can totally see Gaga wearing a dress made of Barbie Dolls and then burning them in effigy. Considering what she normally wears, this will be tame by comparison.

True story, I had tickets to the first Lilith Fair but missed it because of my colossal inability to read dates correctly. Trust me, there were tears when I realized my mistake one day too late. Luckily, I got tickets the following year and, I know this will sound corny, but loved every second of its grrrl power empowerment. Being surrounded by thousands upon thousands of beautiful, like-minded women doesn’t hurt either.

So, are you excited for this second time around? Were you there for the first? Who do you want to see play? And is anyone else worried that when Sarah McLachlan starts playing “Angel,” you’ll spontaneously throw your wallet onstage to give money to the ASPCA?