Immerse yourself in Word Bird, featuring a selection of luminaries from the world of music journalism and authorship. Featuring Zoe Howe, Laura Barton, Lucy O’Brien and Peggy Seeger.

Marking International Women’s Day weekend, Song Bird / Word Bird is a mini festival covering the theatre, foyer and performance spaces of Gulbenkian and designed to celebrate women in music, whether you want to explore what makes a female icon or enjoy cutting edge sounds from the musical fringes.

Song Bird / Word Bird is a day celebrating women in music, through song and through words. You can book a ticket to either element, or buy a ticket that gets you into everything!


Line-up includes:

Zoë HoweZoë Howe
Writer, artist and musician Zoë Howe is the acclaimed biographer of punk maverick Poly Styrene, The Slits, Wilko Johnson, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Stevie Nicks, Lee Brilleaux and Florence + The Machine to name a few, and her debut rock ’n’ roll novel Shine On, Marquee Moon was shortlisted for the Virginia Prize for Fiction. Zoë worked with Poly Styrene’s daughter Celeste on both the new biography – Dayglo – and a documentary film I Am A Cliché with director Paul Sng (release date TBC). Musically, Zoë has worked with Viv Albertine, Mick Jones, Steve Beresford, Charli XCX, Anne Pigalle, Helen McCookeryBook, The Plan and many others. More information can be found here www. and here

Laura Barton Laura Barton (in conversation with Zoë Howe)
Laura Barton is a writer and broadcaster. A Guardian staff feature writer and music columnist for a decade, she is now freelance and has written for numerous publications including the Guardian, the Observer, the New York Times, 1843, the Gentlewoman, the Telegraph and the Financial Times, and is a contributing editor at Q magazine. As a broadcaster, her documentaries and fiction have appeared on Radio 4, Radio 3 and Radio 2, and have covered everything from tomboys to Shakespeare, Blues musicians, trousers, Greyhound buses and confidence. Notes From a Musical Island, her Radio 4 series about music and landscape, returned for its third outing this summer. Her first novel, Twenty-One Locks, was the recipient of a Betty Trask Award, and her next book is a non-fiction examination of the relationship between music and sadness. West of West, a study of the American West in collaboration with the photographer Sarah Lee will also be published next spring. She also runs the literary stage at Green Man festival and moonlights as a music publishing A&R.

Lucy O’Brien (in conversation with Zoë Howe)
Dr Lucy O’Brien is the author of Madonna: Like An Icon (translated into 13 languages), She Bop: The Definitive History of Women in Popular Music, and in-depth biographies of Dusty Springfield and Annie Lennox. She writes for Mojo, The Guardian and The Quietus, and is a guest contributor on music and popular culture for BBC, C4 and C5. She co-produced Righteous Babes, the C4 film about rock and new feminism, and She Bop, the BBC Radio 2 series on women in rock. Currently a tutor at London College of Music, University of West London, her specialist research areas are music subcultures and feminism. And back in 1979/80 she played in all-girl punk band The Catholic Girls.

Peggy Seeger (in conversation with Serena Cross)
Peggy Seeger – singer, songwriter, feminist, icon, muse – is the undisputed queen of folk and political song. Her recently published memoir ‘First Time Ever’ received universal acclaim and was The Guardian’s Best Music Book of the Year. Now in her 80s, her charisma and wit remain undiminished.

“A gloriously open and generous autobiography” The Guardian

“A funny, incisive and affecting memoir” Financial Times

“A rare treat that joins the great folk music tales with head held high” Record Collector Magazine

“Poetic and unflinching … her writing is a treat”  Uncut

“All that one could hope for and more .. a remarkable book” Songlines



Song Bird – £12
Dip a toe into Hutstock – the cult festival-in-a-beach-hut, relocating from Whitstable to the Gulbenkian stage for a one-off only evening featuring seven female bands including Bugeye, Dream Nails, Popinjays & The Tuts. Book Song Bird by clicking here.

Song Bird / Word Bird Festival Offer: £20
Why choose, when you can attend Song Bird and Word Bird for only £20. Click here and select both events.

Celebrating International Women’s Day

Festival offer: Book both Song Bird & Word Bird for only £20!

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Song Bird / Word Bird Festival: Song Birds

Dip a toe into Hutstock – the cult festival-in-a-beach-hut, relocating from Whitstable to the Gulbenkian stage for a one-off only evening featuring seven female bands including Bugeye, Dream Nails, Popinjays & The Tuts.

9 Mar 2019 , 5:00pm
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This Girl Can Family Day

You’re never too young to fight for gender equality!

10 Mar 2019 , 11:00am
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Still I Rise

TRIBE//s debut work from a bold new female choreographer Victoria Fox.  

7 Mar 2019 , 7:30pm
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Song Bird / Word Bird Festival: Word Birds

9 Mar 2019

Our work with young people

Children and Young People are at the heart of what we do, as audience members, as participants and as thought leaders.

Through our landmark ART31 project we are working with young people and partners in Kent to create new opportunities through the arts for under 25's across the county.

Below are some of our current projects focused on the development of young people.

Our projects with young people