Medicine

Festivals make 50:50 gender equality pledge

Festivals make 50:50 gender equality pledge

The scheme plans to lend women a helping hand to close the gender disparity gap, as a pioneering initiative set to "empower women to transform the future of music industry", bringing together 60 emerging artists and innovators from across Europe to take part in a series of showcases, collaborations and a programme of creative labs.

Over the past few years, much attention has been drawn to the gender imbalance present on a number of high-profile music lineups.

CEO of PRS Foundation Vanessa Reed says that the focus on gender diversity this year, "aligns with the centenary for some women being given the vote in the United Kingdom".

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45 festivals around the world have already made the pledge, including Brighton's The Great Escape, Iceland Airwaves, Way Out West and Tallinn Music Week, while United Kingdom festivals and events to take the pledge include Blissfields, Kendal Calling, Liverpool Sound City, Sŵn Festival, Roundhouse Rising, BBC Music Introducing and the BBC Proms. The project will give 36 female artists one week of studio recording time over the next three years as they "create a bigger pool of female acts" for festival organizers to choose from. Glastonbury organiser Emily Eavis is also on-board as a Keychange ambassador, along with Garbage singer Shirley Manson, Madrid rockers Hinds and Bowie producer Tony Visconti. A 2017 study by the broadcaster showed that 80% of headliners on major United Kingdom festival lineups were male.

Find out more about Keychange, including the full list of participating festivals, right here.

Reeperbahn Festival founding partner Alex Schulz said: 'Reeperbahn Festival is proud to be a founding Keychange partner because we recognise the barriers that women are facing in the music industry and we know that our festival stages aren't as balanced as we would like them to be. Meanwhile, Norway's By:Larm festival says it will achieve the balance next year, if not this year, stating: "We still do not have confirmed numbers, but we will be very close already this year". "I hope that many more festivals will have joined with us by the end of this year, making this a global movement". "For example, even in 2018, there are still fewer female artists that can headline festivals".


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