Anna Bulbrook: She's Rockin’ to a Feminist Beat

November 1 - On The Dot
FIRST THOUGHT: A Stroll Down Memory Lane

While cruising in the car with my dad, a familiar song from days past came on the radio. It reminded him of a time years ago, when the radio blasted the very same song as he was cruising down the highway late at night while everyone else in the car was asleep. Then it started to snow, creating a peaceful landscape he’ll always remember. It got me thinking how truly special music can be. It slips into our minds and hearts, and lives forever in that sweet spot. Oftentimes, it’s something we don’t realize resides in us until the magical moment when we hear a certain song and are flooded with memories and emotions. If there’s a song from your past that still gives you goosebumps, today, dig out that old record, crank it up and let the good times roll!


When you hear the words “music festival,” what comes to mind? Woodstock, Coachella, Burning Man? Probably something you don’t think of when you think “music festival” is women, and it’s for good reason. In the U.S. alone, some 32 million people attend music festivals annually. And while more than half who attend are women, we ladyfolk are far from well represented onstage. When pulling data from 10 top music festivals in 2016, The Huffington Post discovered women artists made up only 12 percent of all musical acts.

WOMAN TO WATCH: Anna Bulbrook, Founder of GirlSchool

So, how the heck do we get more women onstage at music festivals? The answer seems obvious: by creating a music festival for the ladies. And thanks to today’s gifted Woman to Watch, Anna Bulbrook, such an awesome celebration of women in music already exists. It’s called GirlSchool, and it’s music to our ears!

Anna knows all about being a woman in the music biz. This violin virtuoso, songwriter and music producer started playing violin at age 4, and is classically trained. She toured for a decade with the band Airborne Toxic Event, has recorded with Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, and is the leading lady of her newest musical collaboration, The Bulls. In all her musical galavanting, Anna noticed something was missing from live-music stages everywhere: gals! So, she decided to push for a change, ensuring more women are represented in the music industry through GirlSchool.

Before GirlSchool opened its festival gates, Anna spoke at Rock ’n’ Roll Camp for Girls Los Angeles, which works to empower girls through music. Seeing young girls excited about supporting women in the music biz empowered Anna even more to make her move.

Comprised of a super-cool online platform, a collective that celebrates and connects women artists, leaders and voices, and, of course, a women-led music festival, GirlSchool has grown into “a vibrant volunteer network of women in music who connect to create an empowering community for one another while supporting women and girls.” And by partnering with organizations like Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls and transportation biz Lyft, as well as collaborating with the City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department, Fender Guitars and more, GirlSchool gives more musical women a place to be seen and heard.

With a dedication to feminist causes, Anna is committed to donating a portion of the proceeds from every GirlSchool event to a girl-positive organization. The proceeds from the 2017 festival will benefit one of Anna’s favorite nonprofits, Rock ’n’ Roll Camp for Girls LA.

Thanks, Anna, for creating a girl-centric music festival and community that’s empowering girls and women the world over. We think you totally rock!


There’s nothing cooler than a woman onstage getting her voice out there. One of my favorites is Shirley Manson, the singer for the band Garbage. She said:

“The most powerful thing you can do as a woman in music is be authentic.”

This is Melinda Garvey signing off until next time. Remember, ladies, empowered women empower other women. Share On the Dot so more women can have a voice. Thanks for getting ready with us.

To learn more about our conversation, check us out at and talk to us @OnTheDotWoman on Twitter and Instagram. We’d love to hear your voice.

Head shot by Juan Azulay.

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