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Archive > Reading & Leeds Festival Organizers respond to criticism of "Too Male" lineup

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message 1: by James (last edited Jan 27, 2017 11:08AM) (new)

James Corprew http://heatst.com/entertainment/rock-...

"The organisers of Reading & Leeds Festival – one of the biggest music events in the UK – have responded to criticism after announcing a heavily male-dominated lineup for the 2017 event.

The twin festivals – held in southern and northern England respectively – announced a wave of acts Thursday morning, featuring only one main-stage band with a female member.

Kasabian and Muse (pictured above) will headline the concerns, with Against the Current, a three-piece band with a female vocalist, being the only announced band with a woman.

Music critics and feminists pounced on the news and attacked Festival Republic, the body behind choosing acts for the event, which some 90,000 people attend."


My thoughts:

While i totally understand where they are coming from, you have to be able to recoup the money you put into a gig, concert, or festival i dont necessarily agree that female or female fronted bands dont exist or can sell tickets. Obviously the trick would be if those bands are actually available to do the festival but the reality is they do exist.

Furthermore, ive always looked at festivals as a platform and easy way to help more unknown bands get some recognition. I think if anything if there are not a lot of female rock bands that it would be a good opportunity to kind of showcase them as openers to the more well known male dominated bands.

Right now off the top of my head these are some bands that feature female musicians and to my knowledge have actually had a lot of success selling albums so i wouldnt be surprised if they were able to sell tickets as well.

Evanescence, Paramore, Halestorm, Garbage, Lacuna Coil easily could sell tickets for a festival like theirs.

I think festival organizers need to start digging deeper and doing more research as if they look hard enough they can find bands with female members that could sell just as many tickets as the male dominated ones.


message 2: by Gerd (last edited Jan 28, 2017 04:41AM) (new)

Gerd | 428 comments Meh, a festival is not a political statement, unless it is a political statement.
So if people don't like the line-up, for which ever reasons, then they should just don't go there, simple as. No one is obliged to give his/her hard earned money to listen to bands they don't like.

The hard truth about Hard-Rock, hard as it may be to take, is just what the organisers did say, it's not about the music, it's not about the fans, it's least of all about community, it's about making money - and really, Hard-Rock is the least genre in music you'd expect to favour feminism over fast cash.


message 3: by Ross (new)

Ross | 1444 comments Sexism, the organisers have been accused of this before there are plenty of bands with female members in this style as any other. Should be boycotted.


message 4: by Laure (new)

Laure | 390 comments It's not so complicated to find bands with women inside. *Good* bands. Everyone knows that women are underrepresented in music, especially in hard-rock, but ONE woman on a whole festival is ridiculous. Saying that it's not possible to find any band with women (or even, with only one woman, we're not even talking about all-female bands here...) that would sell a lot of tickets is just lying. And it's not even the point of having bands with women as headliners: it's having women at all in the line-up!!!
The organizers might think that having a line-up with women would rebuke people from coming? But that doesn't make so much sense, does it?

Gerd wrote: "So if people don't like the line-up, for which ever reasons, then they should just don't go there, simple as. No one is obliged to give his/her hard earned money to listen to bands they don't like."
I love a lot of bands that will play at these festivals. Basically, if I wanted to go to Reading/Leeds, I'd have to choose what's most important: my taste for music (and good concerts) or my feminist opinions. I wish I would not have to choose ;-)
(I've just checked the line-up of a big hard-rock festival in South-West Germany (www.rock-am-ring.com/bands) and they succeed to have the same count: one woman!)


message 5: by Gerd (new)

Gerd | 428 comments Laure wrote: "I wish I would not have to choose ;-)..."

Certainly.
But from how I know that scene and its fans (which admittedly is a thirty years dated) neither is sharing a terribly high opinion of women. The usual consensus you get to hear from fans is that "women don't have the stamina to give a rock concert".
So it doesn't surprise me much that the organisers won't book female bands.


message 6: by Ross (new)

Ross | 1444 comments Seems clear this is a sexist organisation and should be brought to task. Presumably they have licences to apply for these should be refused on grounds they are promoting prejudice.

2017 women should not have to put up with mens clubs no matter what form they take.


message 7: by Laure (new)

Laure | 390 comments Gerd wrote: "Certainly.
But from how I know that scene and its fans (which admittedly is a thirty years dated) neither is sharing a terribly high opinion of women. The usual consensus you get to hear from fans is that "women don't have the stamina to give a rock concert".
So it doesn't surprise me much that the organisers won't book female bands."


I see what you mean. But I don't understand why these sexist views are still on. That's such an old issue and it has been addressed so many times. Reading "Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl" made me realize that there are so many good rock bands that include women (or women-only) out there. Some of them being famous and selling *a lot* of tickets... Men do attend these concerts (Gossip, Garbage, Nightwish?), I've seen them with my own eyes ;-) So there would be attendance, the money would flow, and the show would for sure not disappoint.

That conversation reminds me of an article published in the Lenny Letter about Juliette Lewis, the lead of Juliette & The Licks:
http://www.lennyletter.com/culture/a7...
Hayley Krischer, who wrote the article, had tried to integrate a rock band more than twenty years ago and talks about that experience at the beginning of her article:
So I churned breakup poems into songs because I had real shit to say and flung my head and body around behind that door. We practiced for about two weeks until my bandmates told me that I was no Eddie Vedder. "No one wants to see a girl thrashing onstage," my guitarist said.


message 8: by Zoe (new)

Zoe Dingwall Gerd - I'm in "this scene." And I am one of these fans. Your comment that the fans of this genre are sexist really offends me.


message 9: by Laure (last edited Jan 29, 2017 10:19AM) (new)

Laure | 390 comments Meelie wrote: "And besides, perhaps these groups were asked to Reading/Leeds but perhaps turned it down for personal reasons, or prior engagements, like recording or touring their own work. Sometimes, you don't need festivals to prove your worth. "

Sure. But in that case, I want to see the evidence that they were asked and turned it down. Yes I want to see the e-mails as a proof :-D
Ok, I'm joking there, but seriously... one woman in the whole line-up. That means something.


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