Why Gatas y Vatas?
By Marisa Demarco
Half a decade ago, my bandmates and I drove seven hours north and gave our first performance at Titwrench, Denver's DIY women-centered music festival. It changed my world to see so many women participating in radical, experimental music.
I wanted to bring some of that great feeling back home with me, so that's why I started Gatas y Vatas. For our fest, women in Albuquerque write their own sets and perform them alone. The task might seem daunting, but everyone who's made it to the GyV stage leaves with something: a solo set, song ideas, connections with other musicians.
And it's growing. Women from around Albuquerque have pitched in, helping to organize the festival. In this, the fourth year, we have 35 performers slated to play. There are new folks making their debut, and GyV veterans upping the ante. Gatas y Vatas also has friends traveling in from around the U.S. to turn in a set. Don't miss it: Sept. 20 and 21 at Kosmos in Albuquerque.
Where the Money Goes
- No one leaves Gatas with a fat wad of cash. This is a labor of love, and the people who put it on pour in their time and resources. We make a lot happen with little—a common practice in the desert. Almost all of the proceeds go to paying musicians, some of whom spend lots of their own money just to get here. Gatas y Vatas doesn't pay performers much cash but does its best to provide a little.
- The venue takes a cut of the door—and this would be true of just about every all-ages spot in town. If we held the festival at a bar, we probably wouldn't have to pay this fee. But bars are not comfortable spaces for everyone, and it's super important that the GyV remains all-ages. Additionally, Kosmos is an excellent partner to Gatas—and many artists and musicians in the 505—and really goes above and beyond to help get the fest off the ground. We occupy the space all weekend long.
- Merch-making materials, like T shirts, ink, paper, etc., usually end up costing $200. We make merchandise on the cheap! It's another love-fueled labor, with Gatas volunteers hand -folding, -gluing, -printing, -designing all of the items. We are able to create a compilation album (recorded, mixed and mastered for free by UBIK Sound), a T shirt and a zine.
- We aren't asking for your hard-earned dollars without offering something in return. With your donation, you can secure your ticket to the fest, a T shirt, a zine, a poster or a compilation album.
- Gatas y Vatas has been the breeding ground for some of Albuquerque's favorite solo acts and bands. It also infuses our remote desert city with rad visiting artists.
- This is the fourth year of the fest, and it's grown every year in vision, in daring performances and in scope.
Other Ways You Can Help
- Tell people about the fest and this Indiegogo campaign! And make sure you come out on Sept. 20 and 21 to Kosmos (1715 Fifth Street) in Albuquerque.
- Volunteer! We need folks to help with all manner of tasks. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to pitch in.