Photo by Tammy Rae Carland

Bikini Kill is a feminist punk band that started in Olympia, WA, and later moved to Washington, DC. The band was active from 1990 to 1998. Although they sometimes switched instruments, the primary lineup was Kathleen Hanna on vocals, Tobi Vail on drums, and Kathi Wilcox on bass. Billy Karren joined on guitar after the band had played several shows as a three-piece. Bikini Kill is credited with instigating the Riot Grrrl movement in the early ’90s via their political lyrics, zines and confrontational live shows.

Bikini Kill started touring in June 1991. In addition to touring the US several times, they also toured Europe, Australia and Japan. In The band recorded and released a demo tape, two EPs, two LPs and three singles. With the exception of their demo tape, which was self-released, all their records were released by the Olympia-based record label, Kill Rock Stars. In 2011, the band cut ties with Kill Rock Stars and began rereleasing their albums through their own label, Bikini Kill Records.

Bikini Kill believed that if all girls started bands the world would change. They actively encouraged women and girls to start bands as a means of cultural resistance. Bikini Kill was inspired by seeing Babes in Toyland play live, and attempted to incite female participation and build feminist community via the punk scene. They used touring as a way to create an underground network between girls who played music, put on shows and made fanzines. This informal network created a forum for multiple female voices to be heard.

Kathleen, Kathi, and Tobi (along with guitarist Erica Dawn Lyle) are thrilled to announce they will be regrouping to play shows in NY and LA in spring 2019.

Tour Dates

Date Details Venue City With Tickets
02/26/23
@ Mona Foma
Hobart, TAS
Mona Foma
Hobart, TAS
02/28/23
@ The Rechabite
Perth
w/ Perth Festival
Perth
Perth Festival
03/01/23
@ The Rechabite
Perth
Perth
03/03/23
@ The Tivoli
Brisbane
The Tivoli
Brisbane
03/05/23
@ Lion Arts Factory
Adelaide
Adelaide
03/07/23
@ Forum Melbourne
Melbourne
Melbourne
03/08/23
@ Forum Melbourne
Melbourne
Melbourne
03/11/23
@ Golden Plains Festival
Meredith, Victoria
Golden Plains Festival
Meredith, Victoria
03/12/23
@ Sydney Opera House
Sydney
w/ Bikini Kill Speaks: All About Women
Sydney
Bikini Kill Speaks: All About Women
03/13/23
@ Sydney Opera House
Sydney
Sydney
03/15/23
@ Powerstation
Auckland
Powerstation
Auckland
03/30/23
@ Marathon Music Works
Nashville, Tennessee
w/ W/ Hurry Up
Nashville, Tennessee
W/ Hurry Up
04/01/23
@ The Eastern
Atlanta, Georgia
w/ W/ Hurry Up
The Eastern
Atlanta, Georgia
W/ Hurry Up
04/03/23
@ Orange Peel
Asheville, North Carolina
w/ W/ H.C. Mc.Entire
Asheville, North Carolina
W/ H.C. Mc.Entire
04/04/23
@ The Fillmore Silver Spring
Silver Spring, Maryland
w/ W/ Brontez Purnell
The Fillmore Silver Spring
Silver Spring, Maryland
W/ Brontez Purnell
04/06/23
@ The Fillmore Silver Spring
Silver Spring, Maryland
w/ W/ Mannequin Pussy
The Fillmore Silver Spring
Silver Spring, Maryland
W/ Mannequin Pussy
04/07/23
@ Franklin Music Hall
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
w/ W/ Brontez Purnell
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
W/ Brontez Purnell
04/09/23
@ Roadrunner
Boston, Massachusetts
w/ W/ Brontez Purnell
Roadrunner
Boston, Massachusetts
W/ Brontez Purnell
04/10/23
@ Higher Ground
Burlington, Vermont
w/ W/ Brontez Purnell
Higher Ground
Burlington, Vermont
W/ Brontez Purnell
04/12/23
@ M Telus
Montreal, Quebec
w/ W/ CB Radio Gorgeous
M Telus
Montreal, Quebec
W/ CB Radio Gorgeous
04/13/23
@ Danforth Music Hall
Toronto, Ontario
w/ W/ CB Radio Gorgeous
Toronto, Ontario
W/ CB Radio Gorgeous
04/14/23
@ Danforth Music Hall
Toronto, Ontario
w/ W/ CB Radio Gorgeous
Toronto, Ontario
W/ CB Radio Gorgeous
04/16/23
@ Agora Theatre
Cleveland, Ohio
w/ W/ Donkey Bugs
Cleveland, Ohio
W/ Donkey Bugs
04/17/23
@ Royal Oak Music Theatre
Royal Oak, Michigan
w/ W/ XV & CB Radio Gorgeous
Royal Oak, Michigan
W/ XV & CB Radio Gorgeous
04/19/23
@ Miller High Life Theatre
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
w/ W/ Soup Activists
Miller High Life Theatre
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
W/ Soup Activists
04/20/23
@ Palace Theatre
St. Paul, Minnesota
w/ W/ CB Radio Gorgeous
St. Paul, Minnesota
W/ CB Radio Gorgeous
04/22/23
@ The Salt Shed
Chicago, IL
The Salt Shed
Chicago, IL
04/23/23
@ The Mill and Mine
Knoxville, Tennessee
w/ W/ Snooper
Knoxville, Tennessee
W/ Snooper

News

Maps: Bikini Kill Are Back! Kathleen Hanna On The Band’s Unfinished Business
RRR

Over the last thirty years, Kathleen Hanna has been at the forefront of punk and politics. From pioneering the genre of riot grrrl with Bikini Kill to melding third-wave feminism with electro-pop in Le Tigre, Hanna’s music has always rallied against the norms of the day. But despite the music’s specificity, many of the messages still feel frustratingly vital. Chatting with Maps ahead of Bikini Kill’s 2023 Australian tour, Hanna discusses her frustration with the band’s relevance: “I wish that this band had no business being on a stage again” she tells Fee, “the thing that’s really upsetting is that [we’re] still relevant”

The Healing Power of Bikini Kill
Ms. Magazine

“I had the great fortune of seeing Bikini Kill recently and have been buzzing since. I have been going to concerts my whole life (I am 55) and good ones always linger, but this one hit different. It is less the music following me, and more the energy and feminist badass-ery that Bikini Kill imparted upon the thousands of us who were there”

The 250 Best Songs of the 1990s
Pitchfork

Bikini Kill’s “Rebel Girl” listed as the 10th best song of the 1990s!

“Rebel Girl” is a call to arms. Fuck the patriarchy! Ride a motorcycle in a minidress! Fall in love with your best friend—not metaphorically, literally kiss her on the lips! Set alight by snarls of guitars and bass, the song tells us that love is a revelation, an invitation to worship your friends, to see them as beautiful, to shout from the streets that girls matter. That we’re angry. That we’re all geniuses”

Bikini Kill announce rescheduled 2023 tour dates
Consequence

Bikini Kill had to postpone many dates of their July tour as a member tested positive for Covid, and now they’ve announced rescheduled dates. They’ll happen in spring 2023, starting in Nashville on March 30 and including stops in Atlanta, Asheville, the DC area, Philly, Boston, Burlington, Montreal, Toronto, Cleveland, Detroit, Milwaukee, and Knoxville, plus a newly added show in St Paul.

Bikini Kill Announce 2023 Tour Dates
Pitchfork

Bikini Kill have announced a rescheduled run of North American tour dates that are set to take place in 2023. After the band was forced to postpone recent shows due to COVID-19, the rescheduled dates are scheduled to take place next March and April. There’s also an added date in Saint Paul, Minnesota

Things to do in Seattle this September
Crosscut

The ’90s are back. No, not the summer temperatures but choker necklaces, flannel shirts, skater jeans and riot grrrl pioneers Bikini Kill. The influential feminist punk rock band sprouted from the fertile Olympia grunge/punk soil in the early 1990s and played its last show in Tokyo in 1997, after three albums and a career as fiery, exhilarating and concise as their songs — which rage against the sexist machine. The band, whose “girls to the front” credo ignited a movement, announced a Pacific Northwest reunion tour in November of 2019. (We all know what happened next.) The rescheduled Bikini Kill tour makes its final stop in Marymoor, one of the few shows that have not sold out – yet.

The 20 Best Riot Grrrl Songs
Spin Magazine

One of Bikini Kill’s best songs is one of their most overlooked. In two and a half minutes, “Outta Me” packs in more emotional nuance than the band usually left room for. Riot grrrl has meant, and continues to mean, many things to many people. But when I think about the central tension of being a woman trying to move through the world, “bein’ in love,” “bein’ in hate,” and just feeling fucking bled dry often seems like the right way to put it. But that’s probably just how everyone feels. “Outta Me,” in its bittersweet efficiency, transcends riot grrrl, it but also sort of defines it — if anything ever could.

BIKINI KILL KILLED AT THE GREEK
LA Weekly

‘The songs blasted by in a blur, but Hanna reminded us that “Suck My Left One” is about her 13 year old sister getting harassed by older men. A Bikini Kill show is a lively, fun punk rock gig, but the messages are as important as ever. There’s still work to do. Smash the patriarchy.’

Bikini Kill at the Greek Theatre
Buzzbands.la

‘There wasn’t much funny business, but there was plenty of joy as the original line-up of vocalist Kathleen Hanna, drummer Tobi Vail and bassist Kathi Wilcox on bass — joined by guitarist Erica Dawn Lyle — entertained a cross-generational crowd. The show, one of more than 50 on their tour, was the band’s first L.A. appearance since their four-night residency at the Hollywood Palladium in 2019, which marked their return to live performances after more than two decades away.’

Spin Names Bikini Kill on Most Influential Artists List
Spin

“…Riot grrrl may have never returned, but Bikini Kill did, and when the feminist trailblazers announced they were reuniting to play one-off bicoastal gigs in 2019, the demand was so intense, every show they added sold out within seconds of going on sale…”

Bikini Kill Announce Additional 2020 Tour Dates
Paste Magazine

Legendary feminist punk band Bikini Kill recently regrouped for 10 thrilling performances in select cities NYC, LA and London + a special headlining Riot Fest appearance, marking their first full shows since 1997. These shows sold out quickly and the enthusiastic fan response encouraged the band to launch a more expansive run. Their recently announced 2020 international tour dates are selling out quickly and today, the band is thrilled to announce additional dates with stops at NYC’s Prospect Park Bandshell, Red Rocks, Burger Boogaloo and a special second show in Olympia.

Bikini Kill expand tour, add Prospect Park, Red Rocks & more (updated dates)
Brooklyn Vegan

The reunited Bikini Kill have been rolling out 2020 tour dates, and now they’ve added even more, including Oakland, CA’s Burger Boogaloo in July, and shows at Brooklyn’s Prospect Park for BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival on August 4, Morrison, CO’s Red Rocks Amphitheater on October 21. Tickets for Prospect Park, and all the new dates, go on sale Friday December 13 at noon, with a fan presale starting Wednesday December 12 at noon; the password for that will be available via the band’s newsletter.

Bikini Kill Add Tour Dates, Headlining Burger Boogaloo 2020
Pitchfork

The 2020 Burger Boogaloo initial lineup has been announced, and this year, it’s headlined by the reunited Bikini Kill in their first Bay Area show in 25 years. The lineup also features Circle Jerks, Flipper, Alice Bag, Carbonas, Bleached, and host John Waters. It takes place from July 11-12 in Oakland’s Mosswood Park.

Bikini Kill have also expanded their upcoming 2020 world tour dates. Find their itinerary below, and get tickets here. (Pitchfork may earn a commission from purchases made through affiliate links on our site.)

Burger Boogaloo 2020 Lineup
Stereogum

The initial lineup for the 2020 edition of Burger Boogaloo has been announced. It includes the reunited Bikini Kill, who will play their first Bay Area show in 25 years as part of the fest, and Circle Jerks, who will play their first Bay Area show in 10 years.

Bikini Kill Is Going on Tour in 2020
Rolling Stone

The band will kick off their tour on March 13th in Olympia, Washington with a special Interfaith Benefit show. Interfaith Works Nightly Shelter is a shelter/homeless program that works specifically with women and LGBTQ adults in that area. After that, the band will remain on the road through a Milwaukee gig on May 24th. Tickets go on sale November 8th.

Bikini Kill Announce 2020 Tour
Pitchfork

Bikini Kill have announced a 2020 international tour. The tour kicks off in March with a benefit for Interfaith Works in Olympia, Washington. Check below for the full list of shows.

Bikini Kill Announce 2020 Show
Pitchfork

Bikini Kill have announced a 2020 concert in Olympia, Washington. The show is set for Friday, March 13 at the Capitol Theater and will benefit the nonprofit Interfaith Works.

Rebel Girls
The New York Times

And a few boys, too. When riot grrrl pioneers Bikini Kill played their first New York show in 22 years, these are the fans who showed up — one as early as noon and two who hadn’t told their parents. Hi mom and dad!

Bikini Kill Returns Just When Women Need Them Most
Mother Jones

Less than a month after a spate of state legislatures voted to enact sweeping abortion restrictions, 3,000 people, mostly women, swarmed Kings Theatre in Brooklyn to bang their heads, shake their hips, and scream. It wasn’t a protest, but the audience was angry. Bikini Kill, one of the preeminent feminist punk bands of the riot grrrl movement of the 1990s, was playing one of four sold-out shows in New York—their first since they broke up in 1997, the year that I was born.

Watch Bikini Kill Perform ‘Rebel Girl’ With Joan Jett
Paper Magazine

Bikini Kill aka Kathleen Hanna, Tobi Vail and Kathi Wilcox disbanded in 1997, but the world never stopped talking about them. Their legend status has only become more crystal clear in the past few years, as we’ve entered a spell of post-Trump Riot Grrrl fever, and young people look to the past for protest music that speaks to their anger and anxieties.