FemmeFest's growth is reflected in both its year-two expansion - this year's festival, which is set to take place citywide over Labor Day weekend, will incorporate educational panels and a film component in addition to the usual music programming - and in the sprawling crew of local organizers who volunteer countless hours to bring the event to life, including core members Laddan Shoar, Raeghan Buchanan, Leighanna DeRouen, Alexis McCrimmon, Sarah Moglia and Ryan Vile.

FemmeFest's growth is reflected in both its year-two expansion - this year's festival, which is set to take place citywide over Labor Day weekend, will incorporate educational panels and a film component in addition to the usual music programming - and in the sprawling crew of local organizers who volunteer countless hours to bring the event to life, including core members Laddan Shoar, Raeghan Buchanan, Leighanna DeRouen, Alexis McCrimmon, Sarah Moglia and Ryan Vile.

"We're trying to make it bigger, and we have a little more time this year so we can be more intentional with how we grow," said Shoar in an early summer interview (a second interview with organizers took place in late July). "This is for Columbus … so we want to create something more people will want to be a part of."

FemmeFest initially launched in 2014 as a community-wide, charity-driven response to R. Kelly's inclusion on the bill of the inaugural Fashion Meets Music Festival (the controversial R&B singer and the fest eventually agreed to part ways due to the backlash). Over three days, FemmeFest raised nearly $10,000 for the Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence - money that was utilized to help secure the passage of state bill SB 316, which, according to OAESV executive director Katie Hanna, "Requires that all rape kits (past and present) are submitted for testing to eliminate Ohio's backlog and support survivors with access to justice."

Going into the second year, however, FemmeFest organizers are ready to leave Kelly squarely in the past, intent on building and sustaining a positive event than can become part of the long-term fabric of the community. "Doing work for survivors … is more important than focusing on high-profile celebrity perpetrators," McCrimmon said.

Of course, this approach isn't without its hurdles - "Sometimes it's harder to garner a following when there isn't a fire," Shoar said - though organizers have countered the potential dip in enthusiasm by expanding the fest's reach. In addition to the music portion (a full lineup will be announced in August), there will be an evening of film programming dubbed "Cinema Outsider," which is being curated by McCrimmon and will feature short films by queer, trans and non-binary people of color. There are also plans for four discussion workshops, including: Black, Queer and Trans Lives Matter; Beyond Betty and Veronica: Women and Inclusivity in Modern Comics (hosted by The Circle, a group for female and non-binary comic book fans); one centered on yoga (and, more specifically, how it can play a role in the healing process); and another hosted by the Buckeye Region Anti-Violence Organization, or BRAVO, which is the recipient of this year's charitable donations.

"That way you're involving an audience of people who may or may not want to come see a show but want to participate and want the opportunity to donate money under the banner of something," Shoar said. "It's an opportunity to reach even more of the city."

Expect similar growth spurts as the fest continues its moss-like expansion across the city in future years.

Joked DeRouen: "Coming soon to a BW3 in the suburbs near you."