About the festival

On 1 May 2016, Karachi became the first South Asian city to host a full scale WOW Festival. Since 2016, there have been 3 more physical festivals in 2017, 2019 and 2023 and 2 digital festivals in 2021 and 2022. The ambition of the festival is to create an inclusive and empowering space that pushes at the boundaries of gender conventions. WOW Pakistan continues to have a strong focus on climate change and the festival has been green since 2019.

The programme for WOW Pakistan 2023 was - the most diverse and exciting since WOW Pakistan began and includes dynamic panels, workshops, immersive performances, vibrant marketplaces and shows for children. The festival featured an art exhibition, a drum circle, art installations, and film screenings. The opening performance at the festival featured Shae Gill, the singer of last year’s biggest hit ‘Pasoori’ and the closing performance was by Pakistan’s legendary singer Naseebo Lal.

Presented in partnership with the WOW Foundation, the 2023 theme was Ral Mil - the Seraiki phrase for coming together as a community. The theme ‘Ral Mil’ built upon ideas of communities of care and imagined ways to build better, strengthen bonds, heal wounds, find joy, and salvage the earth from the effects of climate change. Last year Pakistan was ravaged by devastating floods. Several areas are still under water months later and WOW Pakistan wants to utilise the festival structure to begin to lay the ground for how we can come together to reflect, learn, bring about change and to heal.


About the organisers

WOW in Pakistan is co-curated by the Entrepreneurship and Community Development Institute (ECDI Pakistan) and Olomopolo Media, in partnership with the British Council.

is a not-for-profit organisation based in Karachi that envisions an equitable society and creates space for women, girls and people marginalised by poverty to realise their socioeconomic potential. The institution was established in 1990 to address women's developmental concerns and is now a recognised leader in Pakistan’s Enterprise and Pro-Poor Market Development industry. ECDI aims to create an enabling environment for the economic advancement of women and advocacy for integration of creators at the margin into mainstream markets. Their work connects women and girls to opportunity, holds space for their stories and fosters critical conversations that ensure voice, visibility, access and recognition. ECDI has been curating WOW in Pakistan since 2016.

is an interdisciplinary cultural enterprise based in Lahore that specialises in design, production, performing arts, interactive visual media and advocacy. Since its establishment in 2013, Olomopolo has been producing and conducting various projects for social intervention and empowerment. The core objective of the organisation is to use arts to give platform as well as initiate dialogue in the community. Olomopolo works to create conversations that foster a culture of inclusion through their multidisciplinary approach. Olomopolo has been curating WOW in Pakistan since 2019.

Find out more

Stay up to date with WOW Pakistan here. You can also follow WOW Pakistan on Instagram and YouTube.

Discover more WOWs from around the World

WOW Festivals and events have taken place in more than 30 locations, reaching five million people on six continents since WOW was founded in 2010.