Yesterday, the line-up for Reading and Leeds festival dropped and well, it wasn’t great. Out of 92 names billed on the first Reading and Leeds poster, only 20 are women. Further, a good amount of these acts were billed on a smaller stage with only one female act on the main stage, per day.
As a result, the internet has vocalised their disappointment on the matter including the Guardian’s Deputy Music Editor, Laura Snapes, who said “By this stage, we can conclusively assume that Melvin Benn (Managing Director of Festival Republic) doesn’t give a shit about representation.”
The 1975 frontman, Matty Healy, entered the conversation, agreeing with Snapes’ points saying “you are so right”, but then adding “but rage is a dope booking!!!”
Here, Snapes doesn’t quite agree with Healy in her reply, pondering on what could have been: “Rage would be a dope booking if they used their leverage to demand equality on the bill. Any act with power that isn’t doing that, yet is speaking out against inequality, is failing to understand the game-changing role they could play in this situation.”
Then, in a moment of realisation, Matty Healy wholeheartedly agreed with Snapes, saying: “Shit that’s so fucking true.”
Laura Snapes then prompts Healy to take action for his festival runs, saying: “do it MH, add a condition to your rider that says you’ll only play festivals that commit to X% (ideally 50%!) acts that include women and non-binary performers.”
To which, Matty Healy agreed, saying “Take this as me signing this contract – I have agreed to some festivals already that may not adhere to this and I would never let fans down who already have tickets. But from now I will and believe this is how male artist can be true allies.”
Yes, Matty! We stan a supportive king. The two then pondered on the logistics of how this would work.
Speaking of iconic musicians, we spoke to Murray from The Wiggles about potentially collaborating with Lil Nas X on this episode of It’s Been A Big Day For…
While it’s not technically in writing we sure do love a music legend coming out and speaking for what’s right.
The question on everyone’s minds now is, will he ever play a festival on our shores again? If The 1975 are only opting for shows with 50% women and non-binary artists, it doesn’t look like there are many down under that are suitable.
Thanks to an Instagram account @lineupswithoutmales, we can see, we’re not doing that great with Aussie festivals. Just check out a few from this year.
Even a festival that The 1975 just played on our shores had 40% non-male artists.
Props to Matty Healy for doing the right thing here, hopefully, more festival promoters strive for a 50-50 split. We’re here for good vibes, not just masc4masc vibes.
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