Festival season is well underway and as well as the disappointment of Glastonbury goers about a certain headliner (then the inevitability of rain), one question on a few people’s minds is: where are all the women?!
The Guardian recently carried out research on 12 UK festivals, which showed that male acts made up 86% of the performers. Reading and Leeds have 6% female performers, Download has 4% and Creamfields has just 3% female performers on their line up. Overall, line ups over the 12 UK festivals had 2,336 male artists compared to just 270 female artists.
Digital Music News states that 51% of all festival attendees (in the USA) are female, so why is this not reflected in the choice of acts booked?
There have been several explanations for these figures, one being that the majority of these festivals are rock and indie focused, which means that the bands and artists that come under this genre are mainly men. However festivals like Glastonbury showcase hundreds of acts every year, is there really that much of a lack in female rock artists and bands? Also, festivals could use their popularity to promote and expose new, lesser know bands that may very well include hundreds of female acts. Not only would this make line ups more diverse and gender equal, but could also bring a wider range of music fans to the festival.
The images of festival line ups with all of the men removed highlights the bleak reality of female representation in music festivals and hopefully all the talk surrounding this will see a change in next years festivals.
From my point of view as a woman who enjoys going to festivals, I would love to see more female artists represented and given the exposure they need at festivals in order to further their careers. I also think that this would help curb the stereotype that the only good rock and indie artists are men.