8 Aug 2022

Press Release

PRESS RELEASE – 8th August 2022




WOW - Women of the World has today announced dates for its 2023 London Festival, which returns at the Southbank Centre to mark International Women’s Day, supported by The WOW Foundation’s Global Founding Partner Bloomberg.

From 10-12 March, the 13th London edition of the world’s biggest, most comprehensive festival celebrating women, girls and non-binary people will be back with three days of laughter, joy, discussion, world-class speakers, artists and activists. Presented by charity The WOW Foundation, the festival will celebrate achievements, and look to find solutions together on the pressing issues of gender inequality, from climate change to poverty, reproductive rights to mental health.

2023’s festival will see the return of the Day Pass, which goes on sale this week for Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Each day offers audiences the chance to choose from dozens of events taking over the Royal Festival Hall in multiple spaces and venues, with a different line-up each day. Festival-goers can explore a packed programme of talks, workshops, performances, sport, music from WOW Sounds artists and more.

WOW Day Passes sell out every year, and a strictly limited number of £35 early bird discounted Day Passes (usually £45) are available to buy from Wednesday 10th August (Southbank Centre Members pre-sale from Tuesday).

Over the three day festival, there will be conversation, community, reasons to be enraged, enlightened, and surprised. There will be big discussions tackling difficult topics, big ideas proposing new ways forward, and enormous amounts of fun too.

At WOW London audiences can expect to hear from the best thinkers, most inspiring activists, and brilliant speakers of our time. From household names, to rising stars and people making a difference everyday, the Festival line-up is always a catalogue of incredible people moving gender equality forward from across the world. Many of the events will be Live Captioned and/or BSL Interpreted.

A programme of ticketed evening events and digital events will be announced in the coming months. Alongside the paid events, the festival will feature the much-loved WOW Marketplace, a programme of WOW Pop Up performances, and see the return of WOW Speed Mentoring; all of which are completely free, plus our Under 10’s Feminist Corner for budding young feminists everywhere.

Run by UK charity The WOW Foundation, 2023 will be the 13th WOW London Festival. In 2018, WOW Founder Jude Kelly built on the success of the festival to create UK-based charity The WOW Foundation to run the global WOW movement that believes a gender equal world is urgently needed, possible and desirable. Since the inaugural London Festival in 2010, launched by Kelly at the Southbank Centre, WOW and its partners across the world have reached more than three million people in more than 100 festivals and events across six continents.

The WOW Foundation is proudly supported by its Global Founding Partner Bloomberg, and Global Partner Mastercard.

WOW London 2023

10 – 12 March, Southbank Centre

Day passes available for Friday 10th, Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th March

Day Pass price £45

Early Bird price £35 (members pre-sale 9th August / general on sale 10th August).


About The WOW Foundation

The WOW Foundation was created by Jude Kelly CBE in 2018 to run the global movement that is WOW - Women of the World Festivals. The Festivals began in the UK in 2010, launched by Kelly at the Southbank Centre London, where she was Artistic Director, to celebrate women and girls, taking a frank look at what prevents them from achieving their potential, raising awareness globally of the issues they face, and discussing solutions together.

To date, WOW has reached over 3 million people in 30 locations on six continents, in locations including Australia, Brazil, China, Egypt, Finland, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Somaliland, the UK and the USA. In 2018/19 WOW was in Rio de Janeiro, Cardiff, Bradford, Bangladesh, Brisbane, Janakpur (Nepal), Baltimore, London, Exeter, Norwich, Perth, Beijing, Ghana and Nigeria. In June 2020, WOW held its first ever worldwide online festival focused on women and girls — WOW Global

24. The festival travelled around the world everywhere from the UK to Nigeria, and Pakistan to Australia exploring the intersectional impact of COVID-19 on gender inequality, and responding to Black Lives Matter.

Over the last 13 years the Festivals have developed a reputation as a space for world renowned artists, activists, thinkers and performers including Angela Davis, Malala Yousafzai, Annie Lennox, Patrick Stewart, Baroness Doreen Lawrence and Salma 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 come in 2015, with the founding of the Women’s Equality Party by Sandi Toksvig and Catherine Mayer.

In 2018 Kelly left the Southbank Centre to run The WOW Foundation full time as a charity working to build, convene and sustain a global movement that believes a gender equal world is possible and desirable through festivals and empowering women and girls. The unique festival model creates numerous pathways for participants to take part in WOW projects, amplify their own causes, or start new initiatives which have a wide impact on communities. It is the biggest, most comprehensive and most significant festival dedicated to presenting work by women and promoting equality for women and girls.

WOW festivals and events are presented by arrangement with the Southbank Centre.

The President of WOW - Women of the World is HRH The Duchess of Cornwall.

About Bloomberg

Bloomberg – the global business, financial information and news leader – is a founding supporter of WOW - Women of the World Festivals. Bloomberg has long supported organisations and causes that advance gender equality and seek to address challenges women face around the world, from maternal and reproductive health to women’s economic empowerment and inspiring the new generation of female leaders. Bloomberg has proudly supported WOW Festivals since 2012 www.bloomberg.com/women

About the Southbank Centre

The Southbank Centre is the UK’s largest arts centre occupying a prominent riverside location that sits in the midst of London’s most vibrant cultural quarter on the South Bank of the Thames. We exist to present great cultural experiences that bring people together and we achieve this by providing the space for artists to create and present their best work and by creating a place where as many people as possible can come together to experience bold, unusual and eye-opening work. We want to take people out of the everyday, every day. The site has an extraordinary creative and architectural history stretching back to the 1951 Festival of Britain. The Southbank Centre is made up of the Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room and Hayward Gallery as well as being home to the National Poetry Library and the Arts Council Collection. It is also home to six Resident Orchestras (Aurora Orchestra, Chineke! Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, London Sinfonietta, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and Philharmonia Orchestra).