Friday night was the main event for us. We had signed on the for the Dinah Shore Weekend VIP package, or as I like to call it, the Very Into Pussy package, which provided us with tickets to a VIP Cocktail Party prior to the big PURE White Party.
The Cute-Little-Red-Headed-Girlfriend requested four to five hours to get dressed and ready to attend the night's events. This did not surprise me. The CLRHG had already spent that much time culling through her wardrobe and makeup in order to pack, and had wound up taking three to four times as much luggage as me. My most meticulous packing activity for Dinah was probably double counting my underwear to make sure I brought enough.
While the Girlfriend changed her outfit a dozen times of more, I had time to kick back in our luxury room and reflect. Although I had never been to Dinah before, I had been to another type of lesbian group event, the women's music festival. Actually, I had been to several, both the women-only and lesbian-only variety.
I first heard about women's music festivals during my teenage years. I had read an interview with then-punk performer Phranc where she talked about participating in all-lesbian camp-outs. I wasn't out yet and didn't know a single lesbian personally. I was deeply intrigued by the idea that somewhere there existed many lesbians and by the idea that they camped together. It almost seemed too far-fetched to be true.
But I later discovered it was true. There was even a festival circuit of sorts, which fostered many musical talents. Melissa Etheridge was one of the notable singers to come up through festival culture. Lilith Faire, in my view, later took its cues from the lesbian music festival.
Although music was the focus, these festivals also offered comedy, short plays, indie films, and informal seminars on every imaginable topic. But often the topic was politics: feminism, socialism and various forms of activism. I didn't see anything like that on offer at Dinah. Of course, I also wasn't suffering through primitive camping shower arrangements or working the co-op volunteer labor shifts that were part of women's festival culture.
The comparison between Dinah and women's music festivals seems relevant to me because, from what I understand, the festivals are on their last legs. As lesbians embrace the pro-capitalist consumer culture of Dinah, I wonder: are the choices open to lesbians becoming more plentiful, or less?