Festivals Dominated By Male Acts


LONDON (VIP-NEWS) — Music festivals fail to reflect the diversity of the UK music scene, with headline slots being dominated by a small band of male rock acts over the decades, a study suggests.

Some eight out of 10 top slots were occupied by all-male acts, analysis of more than 600 headline appearances across 14 major festivals found.

And a quarter of all headline slots were taken up by the same 20 acts.

Musician and writer Emmy the Great said the music industry was "skewed towards a male demographic".

She said: "If we continue talking – and we continue investigating and agitating – hopefully, naturally, things will become more inclusive.

"We have got such amazing musicians in the UK who are women. What about a festival that wasn`t just women-led headliners, but also most of the bands?

"It`s not just the headliners that are imbalanced, it`s acts all across the board, and we all know there are people making music that are not just white men. If someone decided to reflect that in their line-up, they`d be celebrated."

Male rock acts such as Muse, Kasabian and The Killers dominated the festival headline slots in our analysis. Twenty acts – or about 6% of the 308 acts in our sample – took up 24% of all headline slots.

Dr Simon Warner, a popular music researcher at Leeds University, said: "There remains a small number of groups who can actually generate consumer interest, and I think it`s down to sheer economics.

"If you are going to get 80,000 you need to have acts that can get [punters] to spend cash. If you are spending hundreds of pounds, you are not going to go for an indie band, you are going to go and see the Red Hot Chili Peppers or whoever."

And there was a stark gender imbalance.

In our study, only 37 headline performances involved all-female acts, while 68 were bands of mixed gender.

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