In Ireland and the UK in 2017, women made up 26% of the line-up in a sample of large music festivals and in the US less than 10% of headliners were women.
Representation of women in the music industry remains very low in all European countries. Earnings for women are lower than men and women are under-represented in leadership roles across the industry and within festival programmes.
The PRS Foundation is the UK’s leading funder of new music and talent development across all genres and last year they ran a survey which showed that “78 per cent of women interviewed had experienced some form of sexism in the music industry; that only 16 per cent of UK songwriters and composers are female and that men dominated every other role in the music business.”
Among the most ardent advocates for gender equality in Irish music are Karan Casey, Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh, Síle Denvir, Niamh Dunne, Úna Monaghan and Pauline Scanlon – all members of “Fair Plé”.
IMBOLC Festival supports the campaign for gender equality in the arts and wishes to play its role in achieving equitable representation in music festivals. Therefore, we are pledging that we will have a 50/50 balance in artists performing at IMBOLC Festival by 2020. This is three years earlier than many other festivals and music organisations but we feel that this situation can no longer continue and change is long overdue.
We invite you to support our commitment to gender equality at an informal event on
Monday 9th April at 12pm at Cultúrlann uí Chanáin
37 Gt. James Street, BT48 7DF
(With music and refreshments)
Image is from the first performance of Úna Monaghan's "What haven’t we heard?", a piece about gender balance in traditional music, performed at IMBOLC 2018 by Úna Monaghan and Pauline Scanlon.