The Ladybug Festival is an annual event celebrating women in music.  The event was created in 2012 by Gable Music Ventures as a block party for the residents of the 2nd & Loma neighborhood in downtown Wilmington, Delaware. 

Ladybug was Inspired, in part, by the announcement of Firefly Festival, which brings tens of thousands of people into Delaware less than an hour from Wilmington.  The announcement of Firefly was met with a lot of excitement locally, however, many were unable to afford the ticket price, and there was general disappointment from local artists that they weren't able to perform.   

Gable Music Ventures saw an opportunity to create an event the day before Firefly that would be free for all to attend, and would include entirely local emerging artists. The nomacre “Ladybug” was coined as the festival developed to be a celebration of women in music. The name not only insinuated an all female lineup, but made perfect sense as it's the state bug of Delaware.

Gable Music Ventures put together the first Ladybug Lineup in about two weeks and spent a very short month getting the word out in Wilmington. 2012 featured twenty artists that played inside five businesses on Lower Market Street (LOMA) in the 2nd & Loma neighborhood.  The photo below is the original lineup posing with Gayle Dillman and Jeremy Hebbel of Gable Music Ventures.

Original ladybug lineup.jpg

The lineup for the first Ladybug Festival posing with Gayle Dillman (far left), and Jeremy Hebbel

An estimated 300 people attended the event, packing each of the five businesses and giving a much needed boost to the small businesses on the block during a very slow time of year.  Gable Music Ventures was asked unanimously by each business, residents of the neighborhood, and the artists to make Ladybug a yearly event.  

Every year Gable Music has worked to expand the scope of the event, and the reaction from the community has been incredible with attendance doubling every year since 2012, from approximately 300 to approximately 10,000 in 2017 when the event expanded and added a second day.

Mary Lambert.jpg

Mary Lambert performing on the main stage of the 2016 Ladybug Festival, photo by Joe del Tufo Moonloop Photography


Larkin Poe performing on the main stage of the 2017 Ladybug Festival, photo by Joe del Tufo Moonloop Photography

What's the future like for Ladybug?

Gable Music Ventures sees the Ladybug Festival as a continually growing event. Plans for 2019 are coming together for Wilmington and Milford. We are pleased to say that in both 2017 and 2018 approximately 70% of our event staff was female, inlcuding sound engineers, and stage managers. The 2019 festival will be held on Market Street in Wilmington, Delaware, on Thursday July 18th, and Friday July 19th. The 2019 Milford festival will be held in downtown Milford, DE on Saturday, September 21st with a planned rain date for Sunday, September 22nd.

How do I get involved?

Gable Music Ventures is always looking for community partners that want to get involved with event, there are numerous ways to partner with the event and if you or someone you know would be interested, please email gayle@theladybugfestival.com

If you are an artist interested in performing, or a vendor interested in selling goods at the event please click on “Apply” and fill out the appropriate form.  This is only active until April 15th 2019.