An #IWD Extravaganza! ✨

Naomi Bennett tells DIVA why she's throwing an International Women's Day Extravaganza


Naomi Bennett, founder of Planet Nation


London-based community Planet Nation is hosting an International Women’s Day Extravaganza! ✨


Taking over all three floors of The Bedford in Balham, the event on Sunday 11 March will be made up of an entire day of activities including live music, performance, workshops, theatre, self defence, and even Sunday roasts! DIVA spoke to organiser Naomi Bennett to get the low down on the whole shebang...



DIVA: Why did you choose this particular space as the event venue?

NAOMI: This year in particular, I’ve found myself reflecting on just how many requests for a “community space” I’ve had, both in terms of the increased interest in spaces that are not built around alcohol or clubbing, and also spaces that explore the various women’s movements that have come into mainstream conversations. There is a lot of evidence that “spaces” can help build community, and so when I went to see a play at The Bedford, I immediately realised it was the perfect venue to bring local LGBTQ communities together.


By creating this community space, and by offering lots of different activities, we're hoping to attract a large and diverse crowd. It can be difficult to extend your social circle sometimes, but by bringing everything - and hopefully everyone - together under one roof, it'll mean those who come along are able to make new friends and also to try something new.



Why an "extravaganza"? What was the thinking behind holding such a huge event?

I don’t believe in offering something that already exists. This isn’t necessarily about the event itself, it is about exposure, celebration and collaboration! It’s an opportunity for everyone to collaborate and to reach new audiences. By working together, everyone involved gets to reach out to new audiences and widen their current reach, and the women attending get to find out about all these new exciting events, activities and groups that they may not have heard about before. I want to empower everyone to see the benefits of collaborating – we really are stronger together!


How did you gather all of these lovely women together?

Our community is so talented - as you will see from the absolutely fantastic line-up! - yet this doesn't even represent half of what is actually happening out there in the wider community, or across the UK. There are so many more talented women who weren’t available this time around, but we will find ways to promote those women so that they'll still benefit from the exposure. What's exciting for me is the rich mix of more established women, as well as those who are new or less-known performers or artists. There really will be something for everyone!



Why did you decide to charge an entry fee?

I wish I could cover the cost so that the event could be totally free... However, the reality of hiring a space is that there are large fees to cover, marketing costs – and for me, most importantly - I’m committed to paying a small fee to every person who is putting on an activity during the day. I know many performers and creatives struggle financially and are often asked to provide their services or entertainment for free – so I’m proud to be leading by example on this. We must value the women in our community. 





To find out more about how you can get involved click here. Tickets are available here.



Only reading DIVA online? You're missing out. For more news, reviews and commentary, check out the latest issue. It's pretty badass, if we do say so ourselves. //


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