Editor’s note: This post was originally just about the 2016 Coachella lineup, but at the release of Bonnaroo’s 2016 lineup, it became obvious that if you’re going to be critical of one major international festival, you should probably be looking at all of them.
So, in an effort to have a more rounded opinion of this, this post will continue to update with lineup announcements for the major international festivals, which will likely lead to more gifs and more disappointment.
We talked about it with the now defunct festival Soundwave, and now with the release of this year’s Coachella line up poster, we’re talking about it again.
Festivals are continuing to disappoint when it comes to the representation of women-inclusive acts. Coachella 2016 have kept to this trend with just 48 out of the mammoth 161 acts having women within their ranks. It gets worse with the realisation that none of the weekend’s headliners are women, in fact we’re getting not one but two reunited acts instead of a woman at the lead.
Sure, it’s a bit better than 2015’s lineup, and Coachella are most definitely not the worst within the industry. But are we seriously going to continue at a snails pace towards pulling down the ‘boys club’ bullshit of the music community when the discussion of female representation is so prolific?
If festival line up continue to looks like this, the disappointing response is yes.
Update 1: Hey look it happened again, Bonnaroo have released their 2016 lineup and from my count out of 106 acts, 28 are women-inclusive, which is roughly 26% of the lineup. Dammit people! Where smaller local organisations can easily flip this percentage on its head like Rack Off! Fest and Earopund, massive international festivals like this (and Reading who so far have just the one woman-inclusive band on this year’s lineup) could definitely do better.
Update 2: Looks like Primavera has announced its lineup for this year. Out of the insane amount of acts included (159 in total), just 34 are women-inclusive, making a lacklustre 21% of the festivals lineup. Sure is a lot of blank space left.
Also, not to ignore our own festival circuit here in Australia, below is a breakdown of already announced lineups for this year’s Sugar Mountain Festival, Laneway Festival and Golden Plains Festival. The three present a variety of percentages with Sugar Mountain at the top with 40%, Golden Plains at 32% and Laneway at 31%.
They’re still doing better than their overseas counterparts.
Update 3: The festival lineup announcements are coming in fast at the moment. Altanta, Georgia’s Shaky Knees has 20/72 women-inclusive acts. Australia’s own Groovin The Moo also announced their 2016 lineup, with a disappointing 5/25 acts. This coming off the recent Triple j Hottest 100 which saw no female artists in the top ten (check that female artists not song featuring female vocals).
Also, damn you Groovin The Moo and your hard-to-edit poster.
While it’s not its full lineup, Reading and Leeds Festival added 12 bands to their growing lineup today, and it still looks sad.
Update 4: Legion Festival, the Australian crowd-funded festival hoping to fill the gap left by Soundwave next year sure is following the defunct festival’s ideals of women don’t play metal. The four recent additions to the lineup have introduced the festival’s first woman, that being Hella on keyboards for Eurovision winners Lordi.
Metal’s only for white guys apparently.
*Please note that the basis of determining these percentages is the usage of the assigned pronouns used by the members of the bands. Whether the band members are referred to as ‘he’ or ‘she’ is what determines whether they are counted as women-inclusive. While the use of binary genders has been necessary for this, I acknowledge that this may not be completely accurate because not everyone identifies by these two genders, so if I have incorrectly categorised a band please let me know.