Downtown Milford, Inc. and Wilmington based Gable Music Ventures, are excited to announce that The Ladybug Festival, the largest celebration of women in music, will be happening in Milford this fall on Saturday, September 22. The free to attend “live music block party” will be kicking off at 3:00pm and wrapping up by 9:00pm, but don’t let the six-hour time frame fool you, there will be approximately thirty artists performing during that time.
The event was created in 2012 as a response to the Firefly Festival. Upon hearing the reaction of hundreds of live music fans state-wide, it was clear there was disappointment about not being able to attend due to the cost of tickets. Gable Music decided to launch a free alternative for fans to enjoy and dubbed it Ladybug. The event has grown in Wilmington from 300 in attendance in 2012 to over 10,000 in 2017. Milford is the first expansion outside of Wilmington for the event, and it makes so much sense, as Milford is where the Ladybug became the state bug!
The event will be held downtown with Walnut Street closed off to vehicle traffic from SE to NE Front Streets, as well as Park Avenue. The main stage will be on Walnut Street at the intersection of Park Avenue facing toward Park Avenue.
Local businesses are opening their doors to musicians during the event as venues, anticipating the “Ladybug bump” in sales that Wilmington businesses have enjoyed over the last seven years. In addition to the main outdoor stage, the Milford Library outdoor Amphitheater, Arena’s, Dolce, Gallery 37, the Mispillion Art League, Petite Sweets, Park Place, My Sisters Fault, Milford Antiques, Georgia House, Lifecycle, Elegant Style, Irish Rose, Rivertown Theatre, Riverwalk Gifts/Toytopia and Causey Mansion Bed & Breakfast will all be hosting musicians either inside or directly outside of their establishments.
The event is free to the community, thanks to the generous sponsorship of local businesses who see the value in bringing thousands of people into Milford to shop and enjoy the downtown area! Gallery 37 – A Destination for Artful Living was among the first businesses to commit and owners David Pickrell and Marcia Reed were instrumental in bringing the event into Milford.
“Marcia and I feel very strongly about the intention of the Ladybug Music Festival and to give our support and help to create opportunities for those in the arts is very important to us,” Pickrell stated. “This event will not only cultivate future opportunities for female musicians, but it will elevate the spirit of our community and help to provide a positive cultural direction for our city. Expanding the awareness of music and art is an invaluable part of a balanced growth plan for the individual or a city.”
The Delaware Lottery, DEMEC, i.g. Burton, Planet Fitness, Silicato Development, Causey Mansion, Century Engineering, Citizens Bank, Perdue, Southern Delaware Medical Group, and Nationwide Health Care Services have all pitched in to make the event possible, as well.
The official artist announcement is scheduled for mid-July and organizers plan to distribute hundreds of promotional materials during the 7th Annual Ladybug Festival in Wilmington on July 20 and July 21. The Ladybug Festival is receiving national attention in large part because of the lack of women on music festival lineups nationwide. Firefly has been called out both by major female stars like Halsey, and by local press for not only never headlining a female act, but for having very few women on their lineup every year. Gable Music Ventures co-founder and primary owner, Gayle Dillman, started the now largest all-female music festival in the country and Milford is part of that ongoing story.