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Hazel is resident DJ at Club Feminista DJ which serving up a melting pot of guilty pleasures soul, rnb, funk, disco, deep house, reggae, indie, rock, pop and plenty of goodies that don’t fit into any category. The night exists to provide a platform for female DJs, comedian, musicians, sound and lighting engineers - to support celebrate all thing feminist and fun. They book pro DJs whilst also nurturing new talent and this work recognised last year by Manchester City Council when founder and resident DJ Hazel O'Keefe received the International Women in Arts and Culture award. 'Hazel has achieved a unique way of supporting women in Manchester and has created a legacy for women both at a local and international level in an art form where women are still under represented.’  Manchester City Council 


Hazel O’Keefe is the founder of Dulcet Sounds, Laughing Cows Comedy, Club Feminista, The UK Women in Comedy Festival and is the catalyst for many other projects. A very versatile DJ covering most music genres but specialising in motown, 90s soul, dance, house and indie. Based in Manchester,  her work has been recognised by Manchester City Council who awarded her ‘Women of Arts and Culture.’ and commended by the Northern Power Women Awards in 2017 as an Agent Of Change and won Northern Soul Business of the year just last month.


Who comes to Club Feminista?

The feminists, the lesbians, the bisexuals, the proud queers, the trans folk, the intersex, the drag kings, the boi's, the activists, the newcomers, the latecomers, the L Festers, the friends of lesbians, the straight queers, the guilty pleasure seekers, those that live it for real decades ago, the lipstick lesbians, the considered to be older lesbians, the lesbian mums, the gay dads, the super-butch, the 'too femme to be gay', the confused, the bikers and hikers, the lentil eaters, the artists, the creatives, the collectives ... its whatever you make it ... be whoever you want to be.


We collaborate with other feminist organisations such as L-Fest, Club Zindagi, The Lesbian and Gay Foundation, Steph Pikes Word Up!, Nexus Festival, Boi Zone, Wonder Women, Ruby Tuesdays, Black Angel, Lesbian Social Lounge, Todmorden Womens Disco, Sapphormation and some of our own arts strands such as The Women in Comedy Festival and Laughing Cows Comedy to bring a full night of entertainment

We also often have live bands, comedians or acoustic singers before the club night starts. Previously artists such as, Toyah Wilcox, LIINES, Jo Samuels & Alison Limerick have performed along our all female line up of DJ’s which have included Zoe McVeigh (Bollox) Screw the DJ (Manchester Pride / Vanilla), RPXX (L Fest Del Mar) Claud Cunningham (Black Angel) Paula Horatio (Chew Disco) DJ Blondie (Lfest) DJ Hazel (Rapture) Charlie B, Nicki (Boi Zone / Birmingham Pride) Kath McDermott (Flesh/Womens Own) Sandra D (Girl Wold / Ruby Tuesdays) ... maybe you?  Get in contact with us !


What’s the music policy?

Our all female line up of DJs serving up a melting pot of guilty pleasures soul, hip hop, rnb, funk, disco, deep house, reggae, indie, rock, pop and plenty of goodies that don’t fit into any category.


The club doesn't play exclusively female music but does celebrate artists from Aretha Franklin to Azelia Banks, Beyonce to Bikini Kill, Cece Penniston to Chaka Khan, Diana Ross to Destiny’s Child, Elastica to Etta James, Gladys Knight to Gwen Mccrae, Hazell Dean to Heavens to Betsy,  Iggy Azalea to Indigo Gilrs, Jocelyn Brown to Jess Glynne, Kelis to Kittie, Le Tigre to Lauryn Hill, Mary J Blige to Miss-Teeq, Neneh Cherry, Neon Jungle to Nicky Minaj, PJ Harvey to P!nk, Robin S to Rhianna, Sleeper, Sia, Skunk Anansie, Sleater Kinney or Salt N Pepa, Tina Tuner to Tracey Chapman, The Supremes, The Velvelettes, Whitney Housten to Wilson Phillips, Yazoo to Yazz to list only a few ... the crowd who attend build the playlist so message us your musical pleasures.

What was the inspiration behind the creation of the event?

To provide a platform for female DJs, comedian, musicians, sound and lighting engineers - to support celebrate all thing feminist and fun. We book pro DJs whilst also nurturing new talent and this work recognised last year by Manchester City Council when we received the International Women in Arts and Culture award. 'Hazel has achieved a unique way of supporting women in Manchester and has created a legacy for women both at a local and international level in an art form where women are still under represented.’  Manchester City Council

The night is incredibly diverse, with something to seemingly suit anyone in the world. What can people expect from this night?

People attending can expect friendly an fun … ‘’one of the best nights on the dancefloor EVER, and I danced like a woman possessed.’ and ‘Really enjoyed myself! awesome bunch of peeps who danced the night away!’ are recent comments about the night.
 

How important is it for Manchester to have women/LGBTI + centered clubs?
We feel it still essential. Events like this are important as a safe space for people to come to an feel they can be who they want to be. The night isn’t solely about socialising and having a fun night out, although there is a big focus on having a massive party, it’s also a platform for other things. Attendees can discover other projects we produce such as the Women in Comedy Festival’ and 'Laughing Cows Comedy.’ They can feed into the team and let us know how they would like the projects to grow and either be actively involved with this or feedback and shape the companies development.

As a company who is clearly incredibly passionate about getting women into the arts, do you believe that women are under-represented as DJs and in comedy?

On both accounts absolutely. Last year if you googled female DJs, half naked, sexy images of women came up. Thats starting to change with the positive images DJs ike Annie Mac, Maya Jane Coles and now the focus is on the skills the thousands of female pro DJs not what they DJ looks like! Its the same way the portrayal of women in comedy, a lot has changed since Laughing Cows Comedy was founded in 1998 but we are still not quite there. The circular conversations and myths still exist, the stereotype ‘women aren’t funny’ is a general sweeping statement which is sexist, unfounded and unfair. Some women are funny, some women are not just the same as our male counterparts. For me its about equality of opportunity and that’s why I have dedicated several years of my life to providing opportunities to females in the industry, performing, sound engineering, DJing, promoting ….  

Thankfully the debates are moving on a bit. A few years ago is was just unfounded sexist generalisations and boring circular conversations about women not being funny and how girls couldn’t play guitars at least now we are debating at what needs to change on personal, institutional and societal levels. Our focus is to continue to work people who recognise that and want to help make the positive changes we need to ensure equality of opportunity. 


What would you to say to someone who had never been to this night before to convince them to come?

We don’t ever do a hard sell for any of the events I produce. Find out what we are about and if you like what you see come down. If there are any barriers, perhaps accessibility, you are nervous to come on your own, get in contact with us and you will find we are a very friendly bunch.


Dulcet Sounds are an award winning, not-for-profit, Manchester based event management company who produce around 800 events per year.

and produce Club Feminista: supporting female DJs and sound engineers

We also produce the annual Women In Comedy Festival in October

Laughing Cows Comedy runs the last Sunday of the month in Manchester