It’s fair to say that at times the music industry can feel a little lopsided. In particular, the cornucopia of DJs and producers who fit inside the genre of dance music feels like an overwhelmingly male-dominated space. It seems that when you step back and acknowledge artists such as Charlotte De Witte, who have in the past been vocal about the trials and tribulations of being a woman in the industry, or analyse the statistical evidence that supports the argument that sexism is prevalent within the industry, it’s clear that we have a very long way to go. However, a huge win for ‘the little guys‘ is the rise in music festivals booking more female artists in response to punters demanding more women in their line-ups.
Having a just a quick Google of the Days Like This Music Festival will show you that the team behind the 1 day Sydney based music festival has copped backlash in recent years over the lack of diversity within previous lineups. After a huge response from the general public demanding more equal representation, the 2019 Days Like This Music Festival will feature 6 local and international female headliners, and they released a statement addressing the issue; “We do understand that we have the influence to make a difference to aspiring female producers and DJs with inspiring female DJ bookings, and in that spirit, we can assure everyone that we have already begun work on securing more females for next year’s lineup“.
Female artists all together comprise 25% of the full Days Like This 2019 lineup, and although it’s not a completely solved issue, it’s one that’s moving in a good direction. Pitch Music and Arts 2019 lineup also features 25% female artists, and Strawberry Fields Music Festival won praise after having almost 50% of their 2018 lineup being female (or include female artists) with over 80 artists playing in total. It is slow and steady work, however, and it has taken some festivals longer than others to catch on. The Babylon Music Festival will only be featuring 3 female artists out of 43 artists playing their 2019 festival.
Despite this though, with 45 International music festivals recently pledging to tackle gender equality in the future by including more female artists in lineups, the movement seems to be on a refreshing new cusp. So what can you do to see this movement continue in a more positive direction? Speak up, keep demanding festivals book more female headline artists. It really is working.