Image for Camp Cope Respond To Splendour & Falls Organisers’ Statement On Gender Diversity

Camp Cope Respond To Splendour & Falls Organisers’ Statement On Gender Diversity

Written by Emmy Mack on March 12, 2018

Sh*t is getting heated in the gender diversity debate with Camp Cope now weighing in after Splendour In The Grass and Falls Festival organisers issued a statement earlier today calling out triple j for duffing some stats about both events’ 2017 lineups.

ICYMI: Secret Sounds, the promoter behind both big ticket fests, took the Js to task for mis-categorising last year’s acts The Smith Street Band, Jungle and LCD Soundsystem as ‘all-male’ instead of ‘mixed gendered’ in their initial calculations, meaning each fest’s percentage of ‘female artists, or acts with at least one woman’ in 2017 was actually 31% (not the 25% originally estimated for Falls & 29% for Splendour).

But claiming that the station’s stat correction didn’t “go far enough”, Secret Sounds went on to argue that triple j should be taking into account bands’ touring members, guest vocalists, plus any other acts that might get added to each festival after the first announcement poster has been released, when crunching their numbers in future.

“Failing to count women in bands because they are not listed on a first line-up announcement poster, or are deemed a touring member or guest vocalist, is in our opinion unacceptable, it’s exclusive rather than inclusive,” the Secret Sounds team stated.

“That said, we also accept we have more work to do and are far from perfect. We want this conversation to continue. We want things to evolve. We also want to say to all of the women who have taken to the stage at Splendour and Falls, in any capacity, WE COUNT YOU!”

Well, three of said women — G-Maq, Kelly and Thomo, who comprise Melbourne outfit Camp Cope — have now responded, critiquing Secret Sounds’ statement with some telling tweets.

From Thomo:

Frontwoman G-Maq also retweeted this punter’s commentary on the Splendour/Falls’ promoters’ statement:

Whereas bassist Kelly opted to hold her tongue and instead let a snap of the forthcoming Download Festival lineup (which Secret Sounds is co-promoting) with all of the all-male bands’ names redacted, do the talking:

Thomo also addressed a tweet to the music media requesting that we refrain from asking them for further commentary on this issue, due the band already copping flack from “white misogynists” in the “comments sections” writing them off as “whinging assholes” in the past:

Camp Cope led a campaign for gender equality and safe spaces during the latest edition of Falls Festival in January, and then went on to call out the festival itself for its lack of female talent — live — during the Byron Bay leg of the event:

After that happened, there was some verbal to-and-fro between Falls and Camp Cope, with the promoter issuing the following statement to The Music:

“We book the best bands available at the time of booking taking gender balance into consideration, which can be challenging.

Whilst we have a very conscious and strong agenda to book female talent, it isn’t always available to us at that headline level. We have a long term strategy, which is present on this year’s Falls line up, of giving opportunities to new and middle range female Australian artists, to nurture and grow the future pool of female headline options.

We support the core message of gender balance and have been working towards a more balanced line up at Falls. We have seen other bands who are passionate about this topic go out and started their own events where they have total control of the line-up, with great success and we applauded their initiative. Taking control yourself, is a great way to effect change.”

…And frontwoman G-Maq then retorting live during the band’s set at Falls Fremantle, saying:

“It’s not about filling a quota, it’s not about all that fucking rubbish…It’s about the type of world we want to see in music, we want an equal, diverse and inclusive music community, because that’s what it is. It’s not represented properly on festival lineups or in big shows, it’s bullshit and we’ve had enough of it.”

Well, the gloves are well and truly off now. Referencing their past dealings with Falls, drummer Thomo further tweeted today:

While G-Maq went even further, accusing Falls of “[trying] to pay us $200 for a show where 1000 punters were singing our songs back at us” and Thomo adding that “the headliner gave us money out of THEIR OWN LITERAL pockets because they were appalled at how much we were getting paid”.

Music Feeds has contacted Secret Sounds for a response to these claims.

Meanwhile, G-Maq has issued a call out to “all the men in music who dm us showing their support from the shadows and from the side lines” to “step up and say something publicly”.

You can read triple j‘s ‘By The Numbers’ report on gender equality in Australian music here, and read Secret Sounds’ full statement critiquing it here.

RELATED: This Instagram Account Is Posting Aussie Festival Lineups Without The Males

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