Another blogpost about International Womens Day
Social media is bombarded with posts about #InternationalWomensDay and I’m not mad! It’s one day a year, we can truly celebrate the women around us and create conversations about the lack of equality we still are facing in 2019. Isn’t it sad that today is the only we acknowledge the fight women face on the daily? 50% of the world deals with inequality literally everywhere they turn, and last year there was a moment that got me excited for change.
Just before New Years, I attended Ice Cream Factory for the first time (shocking), in their bustling annual summer setup. Sadly, when the lineup was initially released, we were saw a disappointing lack of female artists on the bill, which were released throughout social media, and quickly picked up traction. Many people saw the issues, and asked for a balanced lineup. Sadly, many people just didn’t get it.
To be honest, I don’t think these event attendees probably understand the reality of what it’s like to be a female in the music industry, it’s just music right?
Before you say “Em, you’re not a musician,” I have had my fair share backstage in the music industry, from representing and booking musicians, to artist liaison. Those story-times I’ll save for a future blog.
If you’re a musician, on average you earn $0.88 to every $1 a male musician rakes in. You probably don’t see how much harder women have to work to be heard, when 63% of the Hottest 100 for 2018 featured only males, and a dismal 21% of females. Last year, the average of women on the lineups for national festivals was at a high of 41%!! It’s not like theres more male musicians in the industry. In fact, high-school and tertiary education have been pretty 50/50 over the last 3 years. Or maybe only males make good music?
If you still can’t see the inequality in the industry and why people, not just women, are upset in a 100% male dominated line up, you are delusional. Can’t relate.
Bar Pop, the team behind Ice Cream Factory, pulled all advertising for their three-week festival, and released a statement about the oversight. I can understand it’s easy to forget about the importance of making women, (and minorities,) feel valued and heard. The team for sure had an array of artists in the process of being booked, that they didn’t initially announce, and negotiating before confirming and running with that publicity; Heck, its hectic managing all the talent over 15 nights. The cool thing is, these guys owned up to their mistake, took responsibility, and did better.
Oh hell yeah they did better. I attend a killer night with 3 female fronted artists, which obviously was bloody awesome. Lilt, a local trio who has since disbanded’s opened with frontwoman, Louise, absolutely killing it with her impeccable vocals, as usual. Support, Cxloe, is a who Sydney-born and LA residing singer-songwriter, graced the stage solo and owned it with her captivating energy and catchy tunes. I can say I have never seen a muso on stage by themselves, and keep the audience that engaged for a whole set. Headliners, NZ sibling duo, Broods, I have no words for. Georgia’s dance moves, pelvic thrusts and all, almost stole the show, on par with a solid live set resonating with the sold out crowd. Between sets, DAWS and Elise Keddie DJ’d; So it really was a refreshing dose of kickass musicians that happened to be women!
The music industry is getting better when it comes to equal representation of women . But only because people are calling it out, and then the rest of the industry should follow suit. Promotors are listening, and radio stations acknowledge, and the unaware listeners will follow. Huge kudos to Bar Pop for letting women in the industry be heard, and giving them the space to show their music.
Support and celebrate the women around you. If you already do, awesome! Now tell your friends to do better, and show them how.
P.S. Men’s day is Novemeber 19. Sit down.