By: Art Tavana
The fact that music festivals are full of dudes has been covered at length. Lilith Fair closed up shop in 2011, and, since it began in 1999, only 16% of the average Coachella lineup has been female-driven acts.
In the case of the first-ever Burger a-go-go, taking place August 2 at the Observatory in Santa Ana, the entire lineup is driven by women. Headlining are Best Coast and Dum Dum Girls, two bands that ushered in a female-rock revival in the late 2000s that today is a force in the indie scene. Joining the headliners are Bleached, who are on the verge of breaking out. Local favorites like Colleen Green and the Aquadolls are also on the bill.
We talked to Burgers Records founders Sean Bohrman and Lee Rickard about how this all came together.
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OC Weekly (Art Tavana): So where did the idea come from to host this festival?
Lee Rickard: Before Burger a-go-go, we thought about having La Luz, Peach Kelli Pop, and Summer Twins headline a "Burger Bad Girls" tour. But Burger a-go-go just sounded like a better idea.
Sean Bohrman: We thought about Lilith Fair.
This seems like a big deal, why wasn't there a major announcement?
SB: We wanted to keep it a secret at first. Then just drop it on people knowing it was a special show and something they would go wild over!
Are there any bands that couldn't make it this year?
LR: Françoise Hardy and Cherry Glazerr weren't available. But who knows, Cherry Glazerr or Françoise could be headlining next year!
What kind of feedback have you gotten so far?
SB: The response has been out of control! We've gotten a bunch of tweets thanking us for putting together an all-girl lineup.
Most of the bands playing are based in L.A. Were you trying to keep the lineup local?
LR: That was the idea, especially since we're friends with most of these bands. We're really proud of this bill.
Do you feel like Burger is spearheading a female rock revival movement in Southern California?
LR: We don't feel like we're spearheading anything or making a statement. It just sounded like a lot of fun to get all the girl groups we're friends with to play under one roof.
SB: There just happens to be a lot of great girl bands out there.
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Have you ever been approached to host an all-female music festival in the past?
SB: Nope, this was just another harebrained Burger scheme!
Do you think Burger has played a role nurturing the popularity of female bands in L.A.?
LR: Our favorite thing in the world is bringing people together and helping them fulfill their dreams.
SB: It's really about showing these kids that they can be a band. We've actually released a lot of these bands' first cassette tapes.
Are there any plans to expand Burger a-go-go next year?
LR: We're thinking about an outdoor stage for the next one. Actually, we're planning on taking Burger a-go-go on the road next year, and hopefully, we can inspire more bands like these to come out of the woodwork.
Burger a-go-go tickets are on sale through the Observatory website. With three months to go and some great buzz, Burger a-go-go will likely evolve into something bigger before August 2. "There could be one or two more Burger surprises up our sleeves," says Bohrman.