Image for Splendour & Falls Organisers Criticise Triple J’s Analysis Of Gender Diversity On LineupsSplendour In The Grass 2017 / Photo: Bianca Holderness

Splendour & Falls Organisers Criticise Triple J’s Analysis Of Gender Diversity On Lineups

Written by Tom Williams on March 12, 2018

The organisers behind Splendour In The Grass and Falls Festival have criticised triple j‘s recent analysis of gender diversity on festival lineups, calling it “flawed” and “miscalculated”.

In a statement released today, Splendour and Falls organisers Secret Sounds questioned triple j‘s ‘By The Numbers’ report on gender equality in Australian music — released last Thursday on International Women’s Day — which found that both Splendour and Falls suffered a slump in female representation on their 2017 lineups.

Triple j‘s Hack program updated the report the following day — Friday, 9th March — admitting to “an error in our statistics on festival line-ups” which led to the statistics involving Splendour and Falls being incorrect.

“One artist which appeared at Falls, Splendour and Groovin [The Moo], The Smith Street Band, had been analysed as a ‘male’ artist by Hack,” triple j said.

“Hack understood the band to officially be an all-male act until January 2018, but we now understand there was ambiguity around the band’s members last year. Considering this, we have now analysed the band as ‘mixed’.

“At Falls Festival, the band Jungle had previously been counted as an all-male act. We now understand the band has one female member, and should be classified as ‘mixed’. The figure of ‘female artists, or acts with at least one woman’ at Falls has now been updated to reflect Jungle and Smith Street Band – from 25 per cent to 31 per cent.

“At Splendour in the Grass, Hack had incorrectly classified LCD Soundsystem as an all-male act. The band has one female member, and should be classified as ‘mixed’. The figure of ‘female artists, or acts with at least one woman’ at Splendour In The Grass has now been updated to reflect LCD Soundsystem and Smith Street Band – from 29 per cent to 31 per cent.”

In response, Secret Sounds said:

“We love triple j and have worked with them for many years but like all good friends you have to call them out when you think their rationale is flawed.

“The initial statistics in their story were miscalculated and whilst they have since issued a correction (thanks j’s) we feel it doesn’t go far enough.

“When it comes to festivals, triple j judge female representation on the first line-up announcement poster as the key criteria. We don’t agree.”

Secret Sounds also accused triple j of not counting the entire lineup for each leg of Falls Festival 2017/2018, and said the station “therefore excluded artists such as Haiku Hands, Jen Cloher, Stella Donnelly, Nina Las Vegas, Maddy Jane, San Cisco, WAAX, Hatchie, Wafia, Press Club, Jess Locke and others”.

“Nor does triple j count guest singers with an artist, eg. AlunaGeorge appearing with Peking Duk at Splendour or key female band members who permanently play with male artists eg. Salliana Campbell with Bernard Fanning or Vika & Linda Bull with Paul Kelly,” Secret Sounds said.

“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.”

In closing, Secret Sounds said it has “more work to do” and is “far from perfect”.

“We want this conversation to continue,” it said.

“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!”

Read Secret Sounds’ statement in full, below.

Today’s statement comes after Camp Cope led a campaign for gender equality and safe spaces during the latest edition of Falls Festival in January.

UPDATE: Camp Cope have responded to Secret Sounds’ statement on gender diversity.

Gallery: 24 Acts We Can Rule Out Of Splendour In The Grass 2018

Secret Sounds Statement (12/03/18)

Hi everyone!

Rightly so there has been a lot of talk lately around gender balance on festivals which includes Splendour in the Grass / Falls Festival and we’d like to add to the conversation. As we at Secret Sounds are represented by 64% women, with 50% in executive positions, we see the importance of this issue and the opportunity to implement change.

Earlier this week triple j released their annual “By The Numbers” report on gender equality in the Australian music industry which included statistics for five Australian festivals including Splendour and Falls. We love triple j and have worked with them for many years but like all good friends you have to call them out when you think their rationale is flawed. The initial statistics in their story were miscalculated and whilst they have since issued a correction (thanks j’s) we feel it doesn’t go far enough http://www.abc.net.au/triplej/programs/hack/by-the-numbers-2018/9524084 scroll to bottom editors note.

There has been plenty of debate around how diversity is counted. When it comes to festivals, triple j judge female representation on the first line-up announcement poster as the key criteria. We don’t agree.

In Falls Festival’s case they have not counted the entire line-up of each show and therefore excluded artists such as Haiku Hands, Jen Cloher, Stella Donnelly, Nina Las Vegas, Maddy Jane, San Cisco, WAAX, Hatchie, Wafia, Press Club, Jess Locke and others. Nor does triple j count guest singers with an artist, eg. AlunaGeorge appearing with Peking Duk at Splendour or key female band members who permanently play with male artists eg. Salliana Campbell with Bernard Fanning or Vika & Linda Bull with Paul Kelly.

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.

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!

Thanks for reading.

Big love,

Team Secret Sounds

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