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- Posted on Dec 11th 2009 3:30PM by Joshua Ostroff
The line-up for next summer's relaunched Lilith Fair has been announced with Tegan and Sara -- currently enjoying a breakout year thanks to the crossover success of 'Sainthood' -- prominently placed on the bill. While many already associate the Canadian twins with Lilith given their folk-rock roots, Sara Quin tells Spinner, "We didn't actually play Lilith Fair. We did play a village stage in Edmonton in 1999, but we didn't do the tour."
But they're on board now and would like to stand up for Lilith Fair's revival. Though singer/guitar-slinger St Vincent recently told Spinner she hated the whole concept of a female-only festival, Quin thinks it's as important now as it was during Lilith's original '90s run.
"There was something really powerful and cool about [it]. I disagree that Lilith Fair was a bad thing. I think we pick on women being lumped together because it's an institutionalized sexism that even we [women] have. 'Oh my god, don't lump women together' but meanwhile, every music festival that I play -- whether it's an indie rock festival or a mainstream rock festival -- there's little made that the majority on those festivals are men."
Despite Lilith's uni-gender approach and rep as a haven for singer-songwriters, next summer's line-up offers quite a diverse selection of musical styles. Tegan and Sara will be joined by Metric, Mary J. Blige, Sheryl Crow, Ke$ha, Erykah Badu, Emmylou Harris, A Fine Frenzy, Indigo Girls, Jill Scott and, naturally, festival founder Sarah McLachlan.
"When I remember Lilith Fair coming out," Quin says, "I thought it was a tremendous attempt at bringing alternative and hip-hop music to the masses. Maybe the acts that got all the attention were Sarah McLachlan and the Indigo Girls and the Dixie Chicks on the mainstage, but I was friends with Kinnie Star who was a hip-hop political activist musician and she got to do a bunch of that tour and she was totally not mainstream.
"I remember thinking it was a good opportunity for people who couldn't get festivals," she adds. "As somebody who has been doing this for eleven years now, no matter how successful Tegan and I get, it's actually a struggle for us to get onto festivals. Absolutely. Sometimes I think it's sexism and sometimes I think it's homophobia and sometimes I think it's just if you don't fit the idea of what the festival is they don't want to take a risk with you. Lilith Fair was probably one of the most open-minded festivals.
"I'm excited for all the bands out there who maybe don't get asked to do Coachella or Lollapalooza and it's an opportunity to play in front of bodies and fans. I don't think there's anything wrong with that."