Our flagship festival is held at Southbank Centre, London in March to coincide with International Women’s Day. Over three days, thousands of people take part in a three day festival with events, talks debates, workshops, mentoring and performances. WOW presents the greatest thinkers, artists and activists of our time – past speakers have included Angela Davies, Malala Yousafzai, Annie Lennox, Patrick Stewart, Baroness Doreen Lawrence and Selma Hayek, to come and participate, alongside thousands of women and girls who don’t have public profiles but are doing amazing things.
WOW provides platforms for people of all kinds, changes attitudes, brings communities together and provides a unique space for people to work together towards gender equality in their own communities. One example of the impact the festival has came in 2015, with the founding of the Women’s Equality Party Sandi Toksvig and Catherine Mayer.
Around the world
The WOW Foundation works in partnership with amazing women and organisations to create WOW festivals across the world. The WOW organisers in each location ensure the content is created by the local community for the local community. While each festival is different in its own wonderful, unique way, there are elements that stay consistent at every WOW Festival wherever you are in the world. There’s always a WOW Marketplace, an Under 10's Feminist Corner, WOW Speed Mentoring, performance, talks and debates, and WOW Big Ideas.
In the past decade, the WOW movement has grown from its London beginnings to find homes everywhere from Beijing and Kathmandu to Baltimore and Brisbane.
To date, there have been more than 100 festivals and events across six continents, reaching more than five million people from thousands of women in favelas at WOW Rio to Territory women at WOW Katherine.
WOW Sounds is WOW’s dedicated music programming, platforming revolutionary women, girls and non-binary activism who are using their music as a form of activism to create change in their local communities. Discover some of the acts on our YouTube page or listen on Spotify.
WOW Digital Festivals
In May 2020, WOW’s first online festival took place with the BBC as part of its Culture in Quarantine season, followed shortly by WOW Global 24 - our first every 24 hour long festival that ran continuously, featuring 571 speakers from 52 countries in 20 languages. You can watch WOW x BBC here and events from WOW Global 24 on our YouTube channel. WOW Festivals around the world now run digital events as part of their festivals to bring content to as many people as possible.
WOW Day of the Girl
WOW London and WOW Australia celebrate International Day of the Girl with a mass speed mentoring session for schoolgirls on the London Eye and in Brisbane, Australia. We also publish an annual Young Leaders Directory to platform work from incredible young activists around the world, and in 2021 commissioned girl bands from around the globe to record a track for our WOW Sounds series. Watch them here.
We deliver an eight-week long in-school programme of engagement and participation activities with girls and boys throughout the year to address gender topics.