About Nesta

Nesta is an innovation foundation. For us, innovation means turning bold ideas into reality and changing lives for the better. We use our expertise, skills and funding in areas where there are big challenges facing society.

Date started: January 2015 (first camps ran in 2016)
Website: girlsrocklondon.com
Twitter: @girlsrocklondon
Location: London

Girls Rock London (GRL!) is part of a movement of rock camps around the world, united by a desire to amplify voices and achieve gender equality in the music industry.

Girls Rock London

Over camps that span three and a half days (for adults) or six days (for girls), the aim is to learn the basics of an instrument, write a song with your band, then perform it at a live gig on the last day. GRL! helps build self-esteem by encouraging participants to take up space, try new things, work together and make noise, as well as running daily workshops on subjects like body image and intersectional feminism.

GRL! is run by musicians Geraldine Smith, Jessie Maryon Davies, Linda Buratto and Vicky O’Neon, with help from a dedicated team of volunteer musicians and educators.

Half of GRL!’s places are offered free of charge to young people, via referrals from partner organisations, while the other half are paid. In a notoriously hard-to-reach group (age 11-16), so far 100 per cent of youth participants have completed each of the courses, while the adult camps have produced two bands that continue to play together.

GRL! has now secured funding from Youth Music and the Arts Council to pilot a follow-up programme for both adults and young people, to continue working with participants after the camps.