Image for Aussie Musicians Criticise Vivid LIVE For “Mind Boggling” Lack Of DiversityVivid Sydney, 2014. Image via Facebook / Vivid LIVE

Aussie Musicians Criticise Vivid LIVE For “Mind Boggling” Lack Of Diversity

Written by Tom Williams on March 24, 2015

Australian musicians collective LISTEN has criticised this year’s Vivid LIVE lineup for being a male-dominated affair. The collective, which consists of some of Australia’s most vocal female musicians, says its disappointed by the lineup and its lack of diversity.

The group’s mission statement says they are “here to encourage more female participation in the music industry”. The collective includes members of Aussie acts such as Beaches, Chicks On Speed, Love Of Diagrams and Pikelet.

In a statement released today, LISTEN backs up its thoughts on the lineup with some hard facts. “A cursory glance (at the lineup) reveals 50+ acts consisting of a male performer or group, compared with two bands featuring women (The Drones and The Preatures) and one female solo act, George Maple,” the statement reads.

LISTEN founder and musician Evelyn Morris, aka Pikelet goes further, “It’s disappointing to see this line up at a festival that proports [sic] to be ‘cutting edge’ and ‘ground breaking’.”

“Within the LISTEN collective, in Australia, we see a lot of women and gender diverse people making exciting, challenging and relevant music. It’s inconceivable to me that these voices are deemed irrelevant, and it’s truly mind boggling that, when given access to a variety of musicians across the world, VIVID choose to book a lineup so lacking in diversity.

“It is essential that women creating art and music are given a voice and a platform, especially considering the rise in violent crimes against women that we are seeing in the news on a daily basis,” Morris says.

“Art is a way out of that heavy burden, a path to building communities and a way of providing support. It is crucial that this be acknowledged.”

A spokesperson for the Sydney Opera House says in response that Vivid LIVE is but a “concentrated” part of the venue’s year-round music program “which consistently delivers an incredibly diverse roster of talent”.

Some other artists on the 2015 program, they said, include Sinead O’Connor, Neneh Cherry, Mavis Staples, and Angelique Kidjo, “with much more to come”.

“As with any curatorial process, not least in the field of contemporary music, Vivid LIVE programming involves conversations with a wide range of potential artists, including leading women artists. The Opera House is not immune to scheduling conflicts.

“Vivid LIVE 2015 is a unique platform for presenting contemporary music’s most influential musicians and extraordinary new talents in the most recognisable venue in the world. We are immensely proud of the 2015 program, which features a number of exclusive appearances and firsts.”

This year’s Vivid LIVE lineup features shows from Morrissey, Sufjan Stevens, Daniel Johns, TV on the Radio, Bill Callahan and Squarepusher, amongst others. View the full lineup, below.

Watch: Vivid LIVE 2015 Lineup Announcement

Vivid LIVE 2015 Lineup

An Evening with Morrissey (Four Australian exclusive shows)
Sufjan Stevens (Four Australian exclusive shows)
Daniel Johns (Two Australian exclusive shows – debut album preview)
FCX (10 Years of Future Classic feat. Flume, Flight Facilities, Seekae, Touch Sensitive, Wave Racer, George Maple, Hayden James and Charles Murdoch – Two shows)
TV on the Radio (Two shows)
Bill Callahan (One show)
Squarepusher (One Australian exclusive show)
The Drones (Wait Long By The River… 10th anniversary show with exclusive preview of new album)
The Preatures (One show)
Repressed Records presents Royal Headache & more (One show)
Melbourne Ska Orchestra with special guests Project Collective Ska
Dress Up Attack! For Children & Grown Ups

Vivid LIVE 2015 Studio Parties

Red Bull Music Academy present The Studio (Free Opening Night Party feat. Onra)
Mad Racket (Feat. Matthew Herbert (Live) / Zootie / Jimmi James / Ken Cloud / Simon Caldwell)
Goodgod’s House Of Minceteria! (Feat. Intl Master of Ceremonies / Zanzibar Chanel / Victoria Kim / Bhenji Ra / Club Ate)
Astral People (Feat. Robert Owens (Fingers, Inc.) / Amir Alexander / Ben Fester/ Preacha & more)
Elefant Traks (Feat. Joyride (Live) / Jayteehazard (EP launch) / DJ MK-1 (Universal Zulu Nation) / Adit (Horrorshow) / Dggz (The Herd) & more)

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