Hundreds of music organizations pledge to rectify gender imbalance in the industry
The world is pledging to tackle gender imbalance in the music industry- will SA follow suit?
PRS Foundation, the UK’s leading funder of new music and talent development, has just announced plans to extend its Keychange pledge, which is at the forefront of rectifying gender imbalance in music festival line-ups, to include other aspects of the industry.
Last year Keychange made huge strides when over 180 music festivals pledged to create a 50/50 gender balance (which at the time of the article was only at 45 festivals) in festival line-ups by 2022, including A2IM Indie Week and Winter Jazzfest in New York, Trondheim Calling (Norway), Canada’s BreakOut West, Kendal Calling, Liverpool International Music Festival, Liverpool Sound City and Manchester Jazz Festival in England.
Keep changing, Keychange
The new extension of the Keychange initiative will include record labels, orchestras, conservatoires, broadcasters, live music venues and agents. If it’s got to do with music, it must find gender balance.
The extension has been met with open arms and open hearts, with more than 250 organisations having signed up, including the Barbican, Opera North, Southbank Centre and Leeds College of Music.
Speaking in the Guardian, Keychange founder Vanessa Reed said its success had surpassed expectations. “We were really reassured and excited by the fact that we were approached by so many people. Fairly quickly and with no particular marketing investment we reached 100 signatories by last June and now we are almost at 200 festivals.”
Adding: “The music industry can’t work in silos. Every part affects the other so we want to join the dots and ensure that everyone is working together towards a shared goal, which will ultimately strengthen the music industry as a whole.”
As the world pledges to create gender balance in the music industry, one can’t help but wonder if South Africa will follow suit. Our young democracy’s first priority is deservingly so to build racial equality, which means that gender equality and balance is taking a back seat.
In looking at the glass half full, Keychange’s assault on gender imbalance is making people think and more importantly act- which is the first step towards creating a change.