A new report titled ‘Progressing Gender Representation in UK Dance Music’ by The Jaguar Foundation finds that the industry is heavily skewed toward male artists.
I’m sure you’ve no doubt read or heard about the gender equality problem within the music industry.
Whether it’s song writing, performing, festival organising, headline acts, or pretty much anything else, women still continue to be underrepresented across the board, despite many of the biggest and most culturally important acts being female.
This is now confirmed to also be the case within the dance music space, at least as far as the UK is concerned.
A new report by the Jaguar Foundation titled ‘Progressing Gender Representation in UK Dance Music’ has found that only 5% of dance songs in the charts were made exclusively by female or non-binary artists. 1% of dance or electronic tracks that receive radio play were made by women.
To that end, 28% of electronic festival line-ups in 2022 were female or non-binary, and this number is even lower at regular festivals with just 15%. Nearly none were top headline acts.
This sense of a masculine-dominated space extends to clubs and safety, too. According to the report, many women and non-binary people said they felt unsafe in clubs.
The Jaguar Foundation said that ‘the combination of late-night travel, dark and crowded spaces, and intoxicated crowds make for a more unappealing environment for women’. It added that ‘there is unwanted attention physically and verbally’.
So, what’s next to resolve the problem?
While the issue of female representation and inclusion is systematic and can’t be altered overnight, we do know that meaningful changes can be made if more of us are aware and speak out.
We’ve yet to see festivals really address this problem, however, aside from some minor improvements here and there. Talk of change is bubbling within the industry and an acknowledgement of the issue does exist, but headline acts are still mostly all men.
This photoshop of recent festival line-ups gives a good indication of where we’re really at.
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Only a few big name shows like Glastonbury created a genuine equal split of male and female acts this year. More balance of this nature has to happen across all festivals – including dance – in order for the changes to be felt in a widespread, long-term way.
Jaguar leave off their studies by asking us to ‘all join forces and work on a solution, together’.
Demand to see and hear more female acts, press your record labels, festival organisers, music journalists, and industry insiders to make it a priority. It’s long overdue.
For more information, we recommend following the Instagram account @bookmorewomen, which you can do so here.