The PRS Foundation have announced that 45 international music festivals have pledged to back their new Keychange scheme, which promises to tackle the gender imbalance in festival lineups.
With only 17 of the 86 Grammy awards picked up by women this year, the need for gender equality in the music industry has been a big talking point in recent months. Today’s announcement comes as the PRS Foundation furthers the growth of its Keychange initiative, which has supported projects on and off stage, to address the gender-gap in the music industry.
In a study last year, the BBC reported that “eight of out 10 top slots [at 14 major festivals] were occupied by all-male acts”. The PRS Foundation has been campaigning to encourage festivals around the world to pledge to achieve a 50/50 gender balance across their lineups by 2022.
With tastemaker festivals such as The Great Escape (UK) signing the pledge, there is hope that over the coming years, talent featured at smaller festivals will secure and populate the main stages at larger festivals in years to come.
In their press release, PRS Foundation chief Vanessa Reid says:
Our focus on gender equality in 2018 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 goes on: “The Keychange network of female artists and industry professionals and the festival partners’ idea of establishing a collective pledge will significantly accelerate change. I hope that this will be the start of a more balanced industry which will result in benefits for everyone”.
The full-list of festivals joining the the pledge are: 53 Degrees North (England), Aldeburgh Festival (England), Blissfields (England), Bluedot (England), Borealis (Norway), BreakOut West (Canada), By:Larm (Norway), Canadian Music Week (Canada), Cheltenham Jazz Festival (England), Cheltenham Music Festival (England), Eurosonic Noorderslag (Netherlands), FOCUS Wales (Wales), Granada Experience (Spain), Hard Working Class Heroes (Ireland), Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival (England), A2IM Indie Week (USA), BBC Music Introducing Stages (UK), Katowice JazzArt Festival (Poland), Kendal Calling (England), Liverpool International Music Festival (England), Liverpool Sound City (England), Manchester Jazz Festival (England), Midem (France), Norwich Sound And Vision (England), North By North East (Canada), NYC Winter Jazzfest (USA), Off The Record (England), Oslo World (Norway), Pop-Kultur (Germany), BBC Proms (England), Roundhouse Rising (England), Spitalfields Music (England), Sŵn (Wales), Trondheim Calling (Norway), Waves Vienna (Austria), Westway LAB (Portugal), Wide Days (Scotland) and Gilles Peterson’s Worldwide Festival (France).