WOW: Women of the World Festival

Things to do, Festivals
4 out of 5 stars
(2user reviews)
Patrisse Khan-Cullors
Patrisse Khan-Cullors

After a status quo-shattering end to 2017, the Women of the World festival is more than needed than ever. And the 2018 edition does not dissappoint, featuring a killer line-up that champions everything good and great going on in the world of women. Expect a programme of discussion, debate, performances and activism, all of which celebrate female achievements and highlight the obstacles that prevent them from achieving their full potential.

From #MeToo and No Grey Area, to Time’s Up and the Golden Globes protest, the world has seen a historical shift in women standing together against marginalisation, to say ‘no more’. In the 100th anniversary year since the first British women won the right to vote, Southbank Centre’s eighth WOW festival is not one to miss.

Famous female artists, writers and activists including Munroe Bergdorf, Afua Hirsch, Sandi Toksvig, Patrisse Khan-Cullors, and Laura Bates (to name a few) are uniting to call for solutions to modern societal challenges – and what lies ahead – for women.

Day passes (£30) and three-day weekend passes (£80) that admit visitors to all daytime events are available alongside tickets for individual events, including some free ones. Visit the WOW site to see the full programme of events and to book.


Average User Rating

3.5 / 5

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2 people listening

I am actually writing this review during the intermission of the performance of Joni Mitchell's album ' Hejira ' - the gig itself is incredible! The centre has really gotten together a diversely talented group of singers, as well as a jazz collective who are in house AND a small orchestra, and I hear we are being treated to a women's refugee choir in the next half!

The vibe in this building right now is amazing. There are so many things going on as part of the festival that I know I will be back again in the next few days. And probably next year, for the 8th WOW festival, too. Come and check it out while it is still on. Your best bet is to check for sessions you want to attend online, or just show up for the doors open and stick around to see what you can get up to. I am sure you will be thoroughly entertained - and inspired.


I bought a 3 day pass as that seemed good value. In the run up i felt increasingly irritated as I couldn't understand what the programme was or how it all worked. I went along on Friday from 10.30 until about 2 and managed to see 1.5 sessions and tour the 'market'. As you arrive you get a written programme that makes it clearer what's on and where. I would have thought this would a) been available easily before hand b) been an app c) been clearer about locations and etiquette.

My friend and I nearly missed the session we were aiming for as very little is signposted clearly and we ended up in the third floor auditorium - rather than the 5th floor function room we thought we were in! All of which necessitated a sharpish and quite embarrassing exit. When we did find it there was then a huge queue an it was touch and go whether we could get it - even though as it turned out there were seats. It seemed a bit ridiculous to me to have left a pretty empty auditorium to then be squashed into a tiny room. I was really interested to hear the mayoral hustings and disappointed that only Sadiq Khan and the WEP candidate actually turned up. The others sending pretty poorly briefed subs. That said Sadiq Khan was excellent and engaging and confirmed my view that he's what we need for London!

Anyway I am going back tomorrow for a whole day so can form a better opinion. But at the moment - whilst I wanted to love it I feel a bit meh.