According the the BBC, music festivals can be real sausage fest. Their research concluded that a whopping 80 percent of festival headliners were male last year. Fortunately, we can expect that number to take a dip, since 45 events have vowed to achieve gender parity by 2022. The initiative is part of a new program from the UK-based PRS Foundation called Keychange. Among the events leading the charge towards equality are Brighton’s Great Escape and Liverpool Sound City, New York’s Winter Jazzfest and A2IM Indie Week, and Canada’s BreakOut West and North by North East.
“Our focus on gender equality in 2018 aligns with the centenary for some women being given the vote in the UK. 100 years on, the push for gender parity across society continues and with increased public awareness of inequalities across the creative industries we have an opportunity to respond and commit to tangible change in music,” CEO of the PRS Foundation, Vanessa Reed, said in a press release.
Reed explained that “last year, on average, women made up 26 percent of the festival line-ups in the UK, so we’re talking about doubling that in a five-year timeframe.” She said the goal is “quite ambitious but achievable.”
The admirable effort comes just about a month after the 2018 Grammys, where the lack of female winners caused quite the stir. “I’m hoping that in five or 10 years from now, we’ll have got to a point where we don’t need to keep talking about this, and the stages better reflect the audience they’re serving,” Reed said.