The birth of the festival derived from an organic desire to create a female-driven festival that engaged and connected women from around the world in a shared interest in the sport of Slackline and Highline. The point of the festival is far from segregation, but rather the chance to create a space by women and for women. The sport of Slackline and particularly it's more extreme extension of highlining was and is a male dominated endeavor; and this festival gives women the chance to be a majority, an opportunity rarely realized within the highline community.
The organizer Faith Dickey started out as the sole female on most of her highline projects, and soon realized that not only was she treated differently than her male counterparts, yet it was difficult to find other women to highline with. Upon conversing with a few such women, they expressed a frustration at being a minority and feeling that they needed to "change who they were" in order to receive adequate time on the highlines they shared. It seemed simple; why not create a festival just for women?
The first festival for women was called the Girls Only Slackline Festival, a play on the theme of a "Girls Only Clubhouse" that kids often designate with a hand painted piece of wood nailed to a tree. In September of 2009, in the lush sandstone valley of Ostrov, Czech Republic, six women gathered to walk two highlines together. Unable to find another female able to install highlines, the organizer had to ask her boyfriend at the time to help. The festival has come a long way since then, with over sixty women attending and six highlines ranging from twelve meters to ninety-six meters in length.
Nowadays, women come from upwards of eight different countries, some with their own equipment to help install more highlines. The level of ability ranges from never having seen a highline to walking the ninety-six meter line casually.
Somewhere along the way, wearing dresses and costumes became a tradition at the festival, perhaps if nothing more than to poke fun at stereotypes often assigned to women, and well, because it is fun to highline in a dress.
As no event is complete without some fun games and prizes, a Saturday evening "Boulder the Table Competition" took shape during one particularly rainy weekend, and it stuck. The competition enables everyone to take part, climber or not, and as each participant struggles to get a leg or a hip around the edge of a slippery table using nothing more than brute strength and balance, the crowd cannot look away.