45 international music festivals have pledged towards a 50/50 gender split by 2022 as part of a new initiative.
The UK’s PRS Foundation encouraged the movement through its International Keychange initiative which was set up to assist women in changing the gender diversity problem within the music industry.
A number of large festivals have pledged including the UK’s The Great Escape, Sweden’s Way Out West, Canada’s North By Northwest and Iceland Airwaves. The list of festivals spans several countries including the US, the UK, Spain, Canada, Norway, France, Iceland and Portugal.
The initiative is also being supported by a number of high-profile musicians including Garbage’s Shirley Manson, David Bowie’s collaborator Tony Visconti and Spanish indie-rockers Hinds.
CEO of PRS Foundation Vanessa Reed says that the focus on gender diversity this year, “aligns with the centenary for some women being given the vote in the UK.”
“100 years on, the push for gender parity across society continues and with increased public awareness of inequalities across the creative industries we have an opportunity to respond and commit to tangible change in music,” she said.
No Australian festivals have signed up for the initiative yet despite a number of local festivals being called out recently for the lack of gender diversity.
Just yesterday, new hip-hop festival Jumanji faced backlash after delivering their full bill without one female. Organisers responded saying they, “will ensure there is a stronger female presence on our festival in 2019.”
Australian band Camp Cope also called out Falls Festival this year on-stage for “booking only nine women”. They also encouraged fellow acts to wear a t-shirt during their sets that said, ‘THE PERSON WEARING THIS SHIRT STANDS AGAINST SEXUAL ASSAULT AND DEMANDS A CHANGE.’
Fellow Falls Festival acts including DZ Deathrays, Dune Rats, Thundamentals, Luca Brasi, BAD//DREEMS, Winston Surfshirt, Alex Lahey and Ecca Vandal all showed their support by wearing the t-shirt.