With musical events providing a newfound backbone for culture and identity, finding room in the market for something new and fresh can be challenging. The night life industry tends to be mostly male dominated, with male DJs, organisers and door staff serving as the norm for the majority of clubs and events companies. Following this, for Ruby Savill-Downs and Millie-Beth Wright, the absence of women in the night time industry stood out as a prevalent issue that needed addressing. As a response to the success of their radio show ‘Ladies Lovin’ - airing Tuesdays on the Leeds Student Radio (LSR) - Ruby and Millie decided to put on their own event, celebrating and aiding the placement of women in the underground music scene.
‘Ladies Lovin’: The Debut’ - held at Blueberry Hill Studios - was meticulously thought out, with homemade decorations hanging from the ceiling, posters from Leeds-based women’s charities spanning the walls and work from local female artists projected behind the decks. Not only did Ladies Lovin’ sell out a week before it commenced, but Blueberry Hill Studios was stretched to maximum capacity and the energy throughout the night was incomprehensibly powerful. The all-female line up of DJs: Shauna, Chen, Milkie, Savvy D and Prince SB played a mix of genres, responding brilliantly to the crowd so that the venue stayed full all night. The B2B set from Ruby and Millie (Savvy D and Milkie) was particularly well received, with the inclusion of afrobeats providing a refreshing alternative to the genres that typically dominate the city's nightlife.
With this standing as the first event for the Ladies Lovin’ duo, the turnout, response and atmosphere were undoubtedly impressive. On a more personal note, going to the event really reminded me of the prevailing absence of women in the industry, and how far it has to go to improve the gender balance of people involved. The tremendous success of Ladies Lovin’ was a surprise to and Ruby and Millie; yet in hindsight, this seems obvious given the thorough organisation, strong line up of DJs and excitement from attendees. Succeeding this, some might argue that it could be hard to top. Nevertheless, it’s hardly a bad position to be in, and Ladies Lovin’ have most certainly scored a triumph when it comes to doing things differently. With their purple theme and ingenuity, these are the queens shaking up the events industry, and will continue to do so.