Let Milford rock. Free and open to the public on Saturday, Sept. 30, the 2023 Milford Ladybug Music Festival is a celebration of women in music, boasting a 100 percent female-led lineup, also creating opportunities for women in live music engineering and event production.
In all, 30 acts will perform on seven stages, indoors and outdoors. Downtown Milford Inc. and Wilmington-based Gable Music Ventures partner to host musical acts from Delaware, the U.S. and Canada in the First State. “This continues to be the largest free celebration of women in music in the country,” organizers said.
“It’s a little bit of everything, everywhere! You pretty much get to create your adventure … much like any larger festival,” said Nathalie Antonov, creative projects and events manager at Gable. “You can plan it, or if you want to just come and walk around, you can just stumble into a stage or a venue. There’s going to be everything from rock to a little bit of R&B, soul, rock, funk, folk…”
Guests may want to bring outdoor chairs to sit on, near the open-air stages.
“We try to get as many local and regional acts in the mid-Atlantic area. We look at women who are not typically given the opportunity to play in a festival,” so many are not even signed to a label yet, Gayle Dillman, festival founder and CEO of Gable Music Ventures, has previously said. “That’s the whole point of Ladybug. We want to create a platform to share their music.”
“It’s all free, so no excuses for not coming down!” said North Pole Creamery business owner David Pickrell, who helps organize through DMI. “There’s room to dance, room to talk and room to walk. The seven stages are situated all over downtown, and there’s not a conflict of sound.”
“We have a really charming little river town [with] the Mispillion River,” said Gallery 37 business owner Marcia Reed, also with DMI. “It’s a really pretty … Culturally, it’s just the perfect place for this, for music.”
Plus, the festival is meant as a safe and inclusive atmosphere.
Road closures on Walnut Street and Park Avenue will make room for everything, including the Main Stage, located in the middle and headlined by Nitro Nitra, Delaware-based rock band featured on NBC’s “American Song Contest.”
There will be plenty of food trucks, adult drinks, merch table, and local vendors to explore along the way. Local businesses and restaurants will also be open.
Two Ladybug festivals are held each year: first in Wilmington (starting in 2012) and then Milford (starting in 2018).
Find details and FAQs online: theladybugfestival.com/milford. The festival is rain or shine (but extreme weather could push the event to Sunday, Oct. 1). Check social media for last-minute updates: @LadyBugMusicFest.