Sarah McLachlan, Fiona Apple

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A TikToker didn’t know about Lilith Fair—and people got mad

People are discovering the all-female festival Lilith Fair, which ran in the ‘90s.


Tiffany Kelly

Internet Culture

Posted on Aug 26, 2023   Updated on Sep 5, 2023, 10:54 am CDT

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TikTok is often a place where millennials and Gen Xers come to feel old. First, there were younger users discovering Y2K fashion and items like skorts. Then millennials had to defend their side parts. And now people are discovering the all-female festival Lilith Fair, which ran in the ‘90s. It was revived in 2010, but several stops were canceled and artists pulled out. 

“I just recently discovered there was an all-female music festival…and I am shook to my core,” starts Tess Bellomo in a recent TikTok posted on the account for her Right Answers Mostly podcast. Although the video was positive and praised the concept of the music festival, the TikTok comments were full of people complaining that they felt old and were upset that people didn’t know about Lilith Fair.

“It’s just so sad that this is a ‘recent discovery.’ Lilith is fucking iconic. Expand your horizons,” read the top comment on the video.

“Omg people don’t know about Lilith faire?? Nooo I feel old,” reads another comment.

The video now has more than 746,000 views, and Bellomo has made several follow-up videos about it. She even revealed that she’s 32 years old, making her a millennial. So the video doesn’t fit neatly into the “Gen Z just discovering something” narrative. 

“It is pure ignorance. Now I have been gifted with this knowledge and I want to share it with you,” she said in another TikTok

While I understand viewers’ initial reactions (I feel old every day on TikTok!), fans of the original Lilith Fair and all it represented should be excited that people are talking about this festival again. Maybe it will lead to a revival or a similar festival

I was too young to go to Lilith Fair in the ‘90s, but the festival was deeply influential to me. My dance studio did a whole performance tied to the music from the festival. I listened to a lot of Fiona Apple, The Cardigans, Jewel, and more as a teenager. I assumed there would be several more festivals of its kind when I became an adult. Sadly, that hasn’t been the case. Yet there is clearly a lot of interest for such an event in the future.

Why it matters

TikTok is now the town square of the internet. It’s where people learn about news, pop culture events, and more. But it’s also a place where people talk about events in history, and that’s important. We shouldn’t shame people for not knowing something. 

Bellomo did get some positive comments, including from other millennials who did not know about Lilith Fair. “I’m 38, loved Sarah in the 90’s, and I’ve never heard of it. So glad I saw your video!” one person wrote. 

OK, now that more people are learning about Lilith Fair, who’s going to organize the next one?

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*First Published: Aug 26, 2023, 6:00 am CDT