Interview: Women of the Seven Hills returns next month

International Women’s Day is fast approaching, which means it’s time for Women of the Seven Hills to bring another lineup of female musical prowess to a stage in the Steel City. We caught up with co-founder Emily Jane Stancer to see what’s in store for this year’s celebration.

Can you tell us about how Women of the Seven Hills came about?
Shaun Doane [The Everly Pregnant Brothers] and myself were at a gig watching Banjo Jen and Before Breakfast, and we remarked how many musically talented women there were in the city. We thought up the concept on the spot there and then! As they say, the rest is history.

Is there a key ethos behind what you do?
We noticed that there was a gap in the scene, a lack of females being placed onto gig lineups within it. There’s not a chance that they aren’t on lineups because they ‘aren’t good enough’ or because there’s a lack of women in music. There are so many truly talented women in music and we wanted to celebrate that with an all-female lineup. Not only all female, but within Sheffield. Celebrating International Women’s Day through music!

How have things grown since then?
The first year was such a huge success; we had strangers approaching us asking when the next one would be. We continue to book these gigs and are now on the third International Women’s Day event, so we’re hoping it gets bigger and better as the years roll by. I guess things have grown as we now have artists asking to perform at our events because word has got around, and that makes me so happy! We’ve also grown in other ways, as this year we’ve invited solo artist Natalie McCool over from Liverpool. We wanted to extend our arm out and expand the event further than just Sheffield artists, despite our name!

What can you tell us about the upcoming show at Yellow Arch?
The lineup consists of five artists of differing genres. From an all-female choir, a band and solo artists, there’s something for everyone in there. There’s always an amazing, positive atmosphere at our events which is what brings people back each year. It truly is a celebration of talented women; from our sound technician to our DJs! This is not a female-only event though! Lots of males attend our event and we encourage it too – anyone can enjoy Women of the Seven Hills. Tickets are available on Eventbrite by simply searching for our name.

Are there plans for more events outside of IWD? Or will you keep that as the main focus?
We’ve been curating a Tramlines Fringe stage for the past two years too. Each year at the Fat Cat in Kelham Island we manage the full day of music in their beer garden! Fingers crossed it’ll go ahead this year, as always.

Tickets for the Women of the Seven Hills are available here and priced at £10 each

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