New Report Shows UK Festival Line-Ups Still Have A Gender Balance Problem

Music festivals are set to return in the UK this summer but new research shows that issues surrounding gender equality still remain.

Research conducted by The Guardian found that out of 31 festivals, a majority were heavily weighted towards male performers.

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Analysis showed dance festival Creamfields featured a 91 per cent male line-up while Manchester-based Parklife was over 70 per cent.

Elsewhere, the Isle Of Wight Festival, which is set to be headlined by David Guetta, and three other male performers only offered a 27 per cent female line-up.

Maxie Gedge, UK project manager of music industry initiative Keychange, said: “It’s totally unacceptable that after a year of turmoil, women and minorities are being excluded from this return to live.

“We usually stay on the positive side instead of calling people out, but we’re getting tired. It’s not an accident any more, it’s a statement of exclusion.

“The fact that this keeps happening shows that there are certain festivals that just aren’t taking responsibility, or they’re not viewing it as their responsibility when, in actuality, it’s everyone’s.”

Keychange is the PRS Foundation’s initiative encouraging festivals to commit to lineups that are 50 per cent women and gender minorities by 2022.

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Other festival line-ups such as We Out Here are over 60 per cent male, while Reading & Leeds, Camp Bestival and Cross the Tracks ranges between 50-60 per cent.

Keychange highlights that diverse line-ups would refresh the talent pipeline and prevent events from becoming stale while enhancing their sustainability.

Gedge continued to tell The Guardian that exclusionary programming presents a negative message to attendees as well as society as a whole, especially as women, gender minorities and women of colour had been affected more by the pandemic.

“It’s really important that we take that very seriously and think about what we want the future of music to look like, and not what it did look like,” Gedge said.

Via Mixmag

Dutch Government Plans To Allow Festivals From July

Festivals in the Netherlands have started revealing plans for 2021 editions following the Dutch government announcing it aims to allow festivals from July 1, and will insure events planned after this date that are cancelled due to COVID-19.

Last month, a cancellation fund of at least €300 million was announced by the Dutch government to allow event organisers to plan for the second half of 2021 with security that they will be covered if the pandemic stops events going ahead for a second year running.

It covers events that attract a minimum of 3,000 visitors from July 1 through to the end of the year, with Dutch culture minister Ingrid van Engelshoven saying it is not “reasonable” to expect “masses can stand close together on a field” before that time.

She added: “[This fund] is a dot on the horizon for festival organizers. They can fall back on the guarantee fund in which at least €300m has been reserved. The event industry has long come to a standstill due to Corona. Guarantee is needed to get it back on track.”

In a statement on its website, Dutch drum ‘n’ bass festival Liquicity wrote: “Great news: the Dutch government has announced that they aim to allow festivals after July 1st! In case festivals still get canceled due to changing Covid circumstances, organizers are likely to be compensated for the costs. Festivals in The Netherlands are currently selling out in record pace due to this new government announcement.”

Liquicity, which was one of the few festivals in the Netherlands to offer timely refunds during last year’s event cancellations and ‘postponements’ in line with the Save Your Ticket scheme, has also revealed its plans for ticket warranties to ensure buyers are 100% risk free when purchasing for the event.

Dutch festivals that usually take place in the spring or early summer such as Awakenings and DGTL have revealed they are rescheduling to autumn in order to be covered by the cancellation fund.

Awakenings Festival will now take place across September 11 and 12, and tickets are already sold out. Its website notes: “The COVID-19 pandemic is still not over, but things are starting to look a bit brighter, so we now aim for the second weekend of September.”

DGTL Amsterdam has also announced plans to run across September 11 and 12 at the NDSM Docklands. Artists such as Eris Drew, DJ Python, Ricardo Villalobos, Afrodeutsche and more have been booked to play, and the majority of tickets sold out.

Last December Germany announced a similar €2.5 billion event cancellation fund, with UK festivals warning they need similar government support to plan for events to take place this year.

This support has not been forthcoming, leading to Glastonbury announcing its 2021 edition is cancelled later that month.

[Via Mixmag]