Female Festival Bookings Up, But Long Way From Gender Balance: Study

The international women’s collective female:pressure has released the latest edition of its FACTS survey, providing valuable insight into how many women are being booked for dance music festivals.

2 min
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Mar 9, 2020
Chandler Shortlidge

According to the FACTS survey by female:pressure, the overall share of female and female-identifying artists at electronic music festivals has risen 15 percent since 2012. This is the fourth edition of the survey, which was first published in 2013.

Back in 2012, just under 10 percent of surveyed festival acts were female — a number that has steadily risen to around 25 percent by 2019. At the same time, the number of male artists has steadily declined, from around 82 percent in 2013 to 65 percent last year. The number of non-binary artists, artists who do not identify with a gender, and “mixed” artists has remained statistically steady in that time.

While the results do signify that efforts by groups like Keychange — an initiative which encourages festivals and music organisations to achieve a 50/50 gender balance by 2022 — are paying off, the study cautions that festival bookings are still greatly dominated by men.

It also states that “larger festivals tend to have lower proportions of female acts,” and that “publicly funded festivals and festivals with female artistic directors have higher proportions of female acts.”

Data for this edition of the survey was collected over the past two years by by members of female:pressure, with festival organizers and the female:pressure Trouble Makers. 166 different festivals were surveyed, pulling results from from 392 festival editions.

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