A recent article in the New Zealand Herald titled ‘Girl power rules: Women dominate Bay of Island Music Festival on and off stage’, showcases the women on stage and behind it, in what is normally a male-dominated industry.
The festivals female promoter, Jackie Sanders says, “None of the people involved in organising this years event were chosen because of their gender but because of the skills, leadership and capability to do the job. They really are the best people for the job, they’re all professionals in their field.”
The festival headliner was a woman, supported by a 50/50 gender balance in its line-up.
”It’s very inspiring for all females looking at get into the music and entertainment industry to see woman achieving in the industry, which has been, and still is, pretty male dominated. But this years festival is proof there are women out there doing it and doing it to the highest standard.” Sanders said. “Events should be looking at their line up, ensuring they are offering opportunities to showcase and uplift our talented females on and off the stage.”
Events can be a powerful influencer, so its important to think about how your event is being viewed by others.
In the UK, there has been a call by the PRS Foundation, who fund new music and talent development, to raise awareness about gender inequality at music festivals. And a movement called ‘Keychange‘, which is supported by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union is fighting for gender quality in the music industry.
In New Zealand, an Amplify Aotearoa NZ Music Community Diversity Survey report undertaken in 2019 had 1200 responses from the music community and found the following:
- 70.1% of women experience bias, disadvantage or discrimination based on their gender
- Technology, Sound and Production are roles where women are particularly under-represented.
- 45.2% of women report not feeling safe in places where music is made and/or performed – over twice the rate of men.