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Representing Women in Festival Line-Ups

Festival line-ups are often criticised for neglecting to represent female artists. Join the discussion - send us your thoughts and experiences in advance of our AIF panel event.

Conversations about women in music are increasingly finding their way into the mainstream. Whilst it’s generally accepted that there is a real issue in terms of the gender ratio across the music industry, the last few years have seen much of the criticism levelled at festival line-ups that have neglected to represent female artists on their stages.

This presents a problem for our members, who feel that there are fewer opportunities for female artists in an environment that should both ensure equality and celebrate diversity.

To change that, our female members have asked us to act upon this issue and build on our existing work with Musicians’ Union (MU) members.

The first step is a panel discussion, hosted by the MU and chaired by MU Live Official Kelly Wood at the Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) Congress in October.

Top female artists will talk us through their own experiences of festivals, from bookings and applications through to performing on stage. We’ll also be hearing about the experiences of the AIF and its member festivals, to gain valuable insight into the thinking behind festival bookings, the efforts to be inclusive and the barriers to achieving the perfect festival line-up.     
Whilst we would love to see 50:50 gender ratios on all stages, we understand that this probably won’t happen overnight.

Tell us about your experiences – good or bad – and help us to identify the steps that can realistically be taken to make festival stages and line-ups gender friendly: We want to hear from you - musicians, festival bookers and music fans – about your experiences in relation to this issue so that we can cover as much ground as possible as part of our panel discussion.
Published: 12/10/2017

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