LadyFest might be the only music festival born out of a redecorating project.

Last year, when manager Kelly Feirtag and musician Rose Guerin were redecorating the interior space of the Ritz Cafe, they discovered to their dismay that the walls included dozens of pictures of the male musicians who play there regularly, but none of the female musicians who are often on the bill at the popular Island music venue.

One thing led to the other, and to correct the injustice the two women decided to organize a night of music by “female-fueled” bands, with plenty of support from Ritz Cafe owner Larkin Stallings.

On the evening of that first LadyFest at the Ritz last year, they knew they were onto something.

“We were at capacity by 7 p.m.,” Ms. Feirtag said. “We had a line around the corner and around the block. People from all over the Island came, all ages.”

For the second year of LadyFest, the organizers set their sights much higher. The town of Oak Bluffs gave the festival permission to close the lower part of Circuit avenue on Saturday, Oct. 20. There will be two outdoor stages, and another one inside the Ritz. The outdoor stages kick off at 7 p.m. and ends at 11 p.m., while the music continues inside until closing time. The event is also raising money for Connect to End Violence, the Martha’s Vineyard Community Services program that offers crisis intervention, counseling, and support for victims of rape and domestic violence on the Island.

“This year, we just decided to see how big we can make it, and ask for something ridiculous, which is to shut down Circuit avenue,” Ms. Feirtag said. “A bunch of people told us that would never happen. We went in and did it anyway.”

Among the female musicians booked for the festival are a wide range of acts that cover almost every genre of music from jazz to Americana, from hard rock to rhythm and blues, soul, and beyond. Included in the lineup are Ms. Guerin, Sabrina and the Groovers, Aunty Em and the Bedspins, Nina Violette, Jemima James, Kate Taylor, Barbara Dacey, Siren Mayhew, Lucy Mayhew, Outskirts, Missis Biskis and Space Invaders.

“We’re hoping to reach out to some who might not necessarily be in a bar and listen to music, but would be interested in walking around on the street, listening to different acts,” said Ms. Guerin. “What we’re trying to do is just celebrate women, and have a wonderful time doing that, just include everybody.”

Ms. Guerin is originally from Chilmark, but moved off the Island for a time to pursue her musical dreams. A singer and guitar player, she toured with musical acts based in the Washington D.C. area for 15 years before returning to Martha’s Vineyard two years ago, where she immediately immersed herself in the local music scene.

She said it can be difficult for a woman to make it in the music business, especially those who want to have families.

“It depends on a million things,” Ms. Guerin said. “It is definitely a man’s world. You’ve gotta have a pretty strong backbone. You would not imagine some of the things people have said to me. I’ve done some really cool stuff, yet you still go into a club and a sound guy will talk to you like you’re a two-year-old. That can wear you down. It depends on you and what you have going for you, what your ambitions are, how smart you are, what drives you, and what luck you have. Luck is huge.”

“The majority of the businesses on the Island are booking mostly male shows,” added Ms. Feirtag. “This is us showcasing women, saying don’t forget, these women are here.”

A big element of LadyFest is its partnership with Connect to End Violence.

“Especially with the climate that’s going on in this country, it’s really important,” said Ms. Feirtag. “It’s a natural partnership for us. The Ritz is a female run bar, and it always has been.”

Organizers hope to raise $10,000 for Connect to End Violence, much of it through wristbands which can be purchased for a donation of $10. The wristbands will be good for a 10 per cent discount at participating Island businesses during the LadyFest weekend.

“When they reached out and asked us if we would like to be the beneficiary’s of it, we were so excited,” said Jennifer Neary, program director of Connect to End Violence. “All the funds collected that go to Connect are going to meet the needs of survivors in our community. That money will go right back to our community members who are in need of some help stabilizing and living a life free from violence.”

Ms. Guerin said it’s important to raise money for Connect to End Violence, and equally important to take a bit of a respite from the current social and political climate.

“I could use a night of camaraderie with a bunch of cool women, make a bunch of noise together for a good cause,” she said.