I’m sure you’ve all seen the first announcement of TRNSMT festivals lineup it was released yesterday evening, something that stood out to myself and a large number of others was the shocking lack of female artists on the bill.
There are 2.
2 women out of an announcement of 13 acts. Rita Ora and Little Simz who are both hugely talented performers but neither of which are typically associated with the ‘Indie’ scene alongside the likes of Blossoms and Liam Gallagher so they do seem like slightly odd bookings but they’re there and currently the only female representation and we’ve got to take what we’re given I guess.
I’m keeping this short because I don’t think there’s particularly a lot to say but as someone who tries their best to address the gender imbalance within the indie scene, I wanted to reiterate some of the thoughts I’ve expressed on my social media.
It’s not unusual to see predominantly male festival lineups, there has always been a disproportionate representation when it comes to gender not only within music but pretty much any creative industry. However, that doesn’t make it right and in 2019 it certainly should not be the case.
There are so many women out there absolutely killing it and it should not be a case of pitting men against women, ‘Female fronted’ is a term I fucking hate they’re just a band and don’t need to be put into a box as something alternative and special, it’s not a genre and they aren’t tokens.
What’s made this particular lineup stand out are the comments made by Geoff Ellis the director of TRNSMT. He said ‘We’d love there to be a higher representation of females but there isn’t, certainly on the acts we’re announcing today, but it will be a while until there’s a 50/50 balance’ he continued ‘There’s less of them to go round all the festivals’ also adding ‘we need to get more females picking up guitars, forming bands’
Utter bullshit, so there are enough men to go around is there? explain to me why every fucking festival is booking the same acts over and over again. Blossoms, Liam Gallagher, The Courteeners, Foals, The 1975 etc. We’re recycling headliners year after year and it’s just boring.
How are women going to be encouraged and more importantly inspired to pick up instruments if they don’t see themselves being represented? It’s a vicious cycle and festival booking agents have the power to change that so please don’t try to delegate the responsibility to young women to aspire to a career that’s not shown to them as achievable in the mainstream.
I’ve seen people online saying that there are no women at the same level as the men featured on this lineup well…
Just to name a few. There are female artists capable of topping the bill but for some reason, festivals aren’t booking them. We need something to change because I’m so bored of the same stale lineups, we need more female booking agents advocating for the representation of women, we need the support of male artists. I think that’s key here, we need male bands asking who they’re featuring alongside, we need them to speak out and use thier voice to say it’s not right. You cannot ignore this inbalance and it’s hugely hypocritical of festival directors to say that they want more young women to pick up guitars but not actively choosing to showcase the women that have been doing it for years.
Save your money and only go to one large UK festival next year the lineups are going to all be the same anyone.