A shocking, but somewhat unsurprising, investigation conducted by the BBC has revealed that only 13% of artists partaking in this year’s UK music festivals are women.
Taken from the line-ups of 50 of the biggest festivals, including Glastonbury, Isle Of Wright Festival, Reading & Leeds, Download Festival, and more, the new findings show that the UK is still a far cry away from reaching equal gender representation within the music industry.
Out of 200 headline acts, the study found that 26 musicians were an all-women band or a solo artist, 149 were either an all-male band or a solo artist, 24 had a mixed line-up of male/women performers, and only one artist identified as non-binary.
In 2017, two major projects were launched by ReBalance and KeyChange with the aim to increase the number of gender-inclusive festival line-ups in the future, after another BBC study found around 80% of headliners were all-male.
This year’s Glastonbury festival will be headlined by Paul McCartney, Kendrick Lamar and Billie Eilish; Latitude festival headliners are Lewis Capaldi, Foals and Snow Patrol; Reading & Leeds will be fronted by Megan Thee Stallion, Halsey, Dave, Arctic Monkeys, Bring Me The Horizon and Rage Against The Machine; and Download Festival headliners are Biffy Clyro, Kiss, and Iron Maiden.
Singer-songwriter Maggie Rogers told the BBC that it “feels awful” when she looks at event posters with women’s names, often in smaller text, below male acts. “What I come to music for—as a fan and artist—is community and to feel part of something,” she said, “and I think community functions at its best when it feels inclusive.”