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News May 4, 2018

40 more festivals, conferences commit to 50/50 gender balance by 2022

Staff Writer
40 more festivals, conferences commit to 50/50 gender balance by 2022

40 more festivals and conferences have joined the pledge to achieve or maintain a 50/50 gender balance in their lineups by 2022.

Part of the pioneering Keychange initiative, this brings the total of events making the commitment to 85 after 45 made a similar pledge in February.

The latest announcement will be made at Liverpool Sound City today.

Among the 40 are MUSEXPO (US), Cambridge Folk Festival (UK), Annie Mac Presents Lost & Found (Malta), AIM Music Connected and Indie Con (UK), Bestival (UK), B-Sides Festival (Switzerland), Camp Wavelength (Canada), Celtic Connections (UK) / EFG London Jazz Festival (UK), Fjellparkfestivalen (Norway), Folk Alliance International (USA) / Glasgow International Jazz (UK) / Halifax Pop Explosion (Canada), Lisbon International Music Network (Portugal), Northern Lights Festival Boréal (Canada), Nova Scotia Music Week (Canada), Pete The Monkey (France), Philadelphia Folk (USA) / Relevance (Denmark), Riverfest Elora (Canada), Sørveiv (Norway) and Subtropikal (Brasil).

The February announcement included Keychange partners Reeperbahn Festival (Germany), BIME (Spain), Iceland Airwaves, Way Out West (Sweden), Musikcentrum Sweden, Tallinn Music Week (Estonia), and MUTEK (Canada).

Keychange is the initiative of the UK’s PRS Foundation, a funder of new music and talent development.

Its CEO Vanessa Reed said, “It’s been hugely encouraging to hear from such a broad range of independent music events who recognise the benefits of championing more female artists across their stages.”

Rebecca Stewart of Cambridge Folk Festival added: that they had been aiming for a 50:50 balance “for a number of years.

“We want to be held up as a shining example that this is possible and that if a folk festival can do it, then others can too.

“We hope it will inspire women to expect to be up there with the best and to keep fighting.

“As we are predominately a female managed festival, we want to show that women are as successful behind the scenes as well.”

Reed also congratulated Liverpool’s arts and music pioneer Jayne Casey who receives a Keychange Inspiration award for “demonstrating the importance of women’s contribution to music at a time when the gender gap was even greater than it is now.”

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