Baltimore’s War On Women have been riotous and outspoken since the first day of their formation in 2011. The band screams and shreds about topics such as women’s rights, trans rights, rape culture, street harassment, the gender wage gap, abortion, and other vitally pertinent social issues. Today, War On Women have announced that they’ll participate in the duration of 2017’s Vans Warped Tour.

War On Women commented:

“Playing all 40 dates of this year’s Warped Tour is a great opportunity for us as a band to use our privilege for something positive. We don’t have to deal with the day-to-day struggles that many people of color, LGBTQIA folks, people with disabilities, or undocumented people have to face just to exist, so we feel like we’re in a unique position to infiltrate what could be a hostile environment, and ensure that women’s voices are heard, from an intersectional feminist perspective. Safer space/DIY/art space shows can be transforming and life-affirming, even vital to people’s survival, but we’ve always believed that we have the ability to take on the unsafe spaces, and we hope that our involvement can lead to a more victim-centered, and overall welcoming, environment for all.”

War On Women’s existence couldn’t be any more poignant than it is at this very moment; with America’s current sociopolitical climate, the timing is more important than ever to put women’s stories into the forefront of heavy music. War On Women are excited to spread their message to concert-goers and hope they inspire fans to “do better, and realize that they’re not alone in their struggles,” commented vocalist Shawna Potter.

Potter, who is the founder of the Baltimore chapter of Hollaback!, a movement to end street harassment, has been tapped to do a workshop every day of Warped Tour called “Creating Safer Spaces: You Have the Power to Shape Your Scene.” Since Shawna and the rest of the band will be busy with performances, they’ve recruited Canadian activist Kira-Lynn Ferderber to run the Safer Scenes 2017 tent, where kids can go to learn how to be good allies to others and support diverse scenes, pick up information on local-to-them resources, talk to each other, and more. They’ll concentrate more on gender-based harassment and violence, in addition to addressing all forms of harassment and discrimination. Potter commented, “Thanks to Warped Tour’s support and generosity, we’ve been able to address an issue that really matters to us, and hopefully in a cool way. While we always want people to feel comfortable talking to the band about the struggles they go through with harassment and discrimination, this summer we have the ability to be more proactive and concrete by educating attendees on how to make their local music scenes more safe and tolerant. We thought, ‘What happens when people leave Warped Tour and see shows at home?’ I wanted people to feel empowered not only as victims, but as allies, to create the kind of tolerant scene everyone deserves.”

Warped Tour 2017 will certainly be one for the history books; this year’s lineup features one of the most impressive and important in the tour’s history, and the focus on betterment overall will be vital. “It’s not really about us, it’s about the idea – that we can all take part in creating the world we want, and that there are specific actions we can take to support others and move towards a more equitable world – we just have to do them! These ideas are so much bigger than one band. Honestly, every band on every tour should always be calling out sexual harassment, racism, and accessibility issues – in front of their audiences, and for their audiences,” said Potter.

War On Women’s magnum opus, their self-titled album, was released in 2015 on Bridge Nine Records and was recorded in collaboration with J. Robbins at Magpie Cage. The band has been on the road incessantly in support of the record, which included dates in the US, UK and Europe with bands like Refused, Propagandhi, Anti-Flag, Jello Biafra, Iron Reagan and more, in addition to a highly coveted slot on last year’s Riot Fest. Check out War On Women on tour all summer long on Warped Tour, and buy advance tickets to the tour here as well as to the “Creating Safer Spaces: You Have the Power to Shape Your Scene” workshop here.

Purchase War On Women here

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Photo by Ben Jones

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