In a bittersweet instalment of our weekly Music Industry Mondays event, we say goodbye to JD and hello to Talia Andrea, editor-in-chief at Strand Magazine and founder of FEMMESTIVAL. We welcomed our new host by talking about her incredible achievement of single-handedly putting on her very own music festival in just three months. You’ll learn so much in the video where she speaks about her entire process, but we’ll give you the rundown here, too.

Read on to hear how Talia took her passion for music and inclusivity and turned it into an incredible event championing women and non-binary people.

The making of FEMMESTIVAL

You wouldn’t expect someone with a background in journalism to put on such a huge music festival, a really successful one at that, but Talia managed it all on her own. During her time as a music journalist, she realised the scarcity of women and non-binary professionals in the industry. It was becoming more and more apparent to her, to the point where she felt like she had to do something herself.

So on 1st October 2023, Talia Andrea took a bold step by curating and running FEMMESTIVAL, a day-long music festival dedicated to women and non-binary artists. This wasn’t just about hosting a musical event; it was a deliberate effort to address the lack of representation and inclusivity behind the scenes in the music industry.

Talia made sure to cover it all. Not only did she make sure the musical acts reflected her aims for diversity and inclusivity, but she also put initiatives in place to make sure audiences felt safe throughout the entire day, such as making sure the venue was wheelchair accessible.

We can’t all be instantly good at everything we set our minds to (we see you perfectionists), something Talia knew herself, but her passion for the music industry and willingness to learn made the process of putting on her own festival a lot easier.

Lessons learned along the way

From funding to partnerships to promotion and everything in between, Talia learned so much but here are a few things broken down for you:

  • Instagram is an incredible platform… if you’ve got loads of money

It’s really hard to get started from 0, and it can be a real test of your determination, especially when those numbers don’t reflect your hard work. If Talia relied solely on Instagram to make this idea a reality, she wouldn’t have gotten very far at all. Make use of every resource you have and don’t be afraid to get creative.

  • Real-life conversations always trump messages and emails

We all know how much easier it is to send a DM on Instagram rather than actually leave the house and, you know, converse, but these conversations are the things that will propel your career, project or whatever you want to see progress in.

It’s because people remembered Talia’s bubbly personality and were able to physically see her vision and passion right in front of them which prompted them to lend a helping hand. In other words, get down to a Music Industry Mondays event!

  • Proper email etiquette will go a long way

With a background in journalism, we expect no less from Talia, but being able to send effective emails, especially pitches, is paramount. Make sure you’re not waffling in your emails, get straight to the point, delete unnecessary phrases (goodbye “no worries if not!”) and remain confident in your aims.

Top tip: The more succinct your emails, the quicker people will reply!

  • Don’t let imposter syndrome win

When Talia received her funding from Youth Music’s NextGen Fund for the event (a mere £1,950 for such a professional-looking event), the doubtful voices in her head started to crop up: could she really do this? Maybe someone else should have gotten this money? But she soldiered on, called her mum for an extra boost of support and managed to run, promote and book an entire lineup on her own. Oh, did we mention she did this whole thing in three months? Anything is possible!

Advice for future groundbreakers (that’s you!)

Talia’s success shows that truly anything is possible if you’re passionate enough and willing to learn from your mistakes along the way. 

Although FEMMESTIVAL turned out amazingly, she still had some challenges along the way. It was difficult not to take rejections and other setbacks personally at times, which is natural when you’re so invested in seeing an idea come to fruition. In order to combat this, Talia says to make sure you’re staying realistic throughout the entire process and try to keep emotional reactions to a minimum (unless they’re happy ones, then go off). Plan ahead to make sure you’ve got enough time and money to complete your project successfully.

Additionally, getting people to be as excited as she was about FEMMESTIVAL was also difficult at times which only proves the importance of perseverance and the belief that every hurdle is an opportunity to learn and grow.

Here are Talia’s top 3 tips for those who want to achieve something big but are on the fence whether they can pull it off:

  • Connect with people on a personal level; let them see your passion
  • Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there (especially you introverts; we promise leaving the house will be worth it)
  • Master your organisational and time management skills as these will be the competencies you are tested on the most

Talia's journey is a perfect example of the power of commitment and passion. We’re sure she has plenty more inspiration to share with us as she becomes our new host for Music Industry Mondays. If you want to hear her talk to other figures making massive strides in the music industry, make sure you get down to our next event! You can get your tickets here.