No women in sight at top of festival headline bill

Source: Google

Despite almost reaching gender parity, there are no female headliners at this year's Splendour in The Grass.

The line-up to this year's Splendour in The Grass festival followed a common thread in Australia's music festival circuit: a lack of women.

Despite this fan's passionate rhyme, there was no Lana Del Rey. Or any women headlining this year's Splendour in the Grass.

Among the 10 headliners for this year’s festival none are women. It’s left music fans asking a question, are there any female headliners out there? 

The conversation around gender equality at Australia’s leading music festivals has been a fraught one. Every year since 2016, Triple J has released data analysis around the gender gap in Australia’s music industry. There was only one festival since they began recording the data that has ever reached gender parity in terms of line-ups.  

The representation of female acts at this year’s Splendour in the Grass sits at 43 percent.  However, there has been criticism of the festivals placement of just where diverse acts have been placed on the program.

Elly Scrine, Coordinator of LISTEN -- a grassroots music label that promotes women in the music industry -- said she is frustrated at the lack of leadership by some of the country’s biggest festivals. 

“What bothers me is that I feel like I’m surrounded by grassroots collectives and passionate unpaid individuals who work really hard to program gigs and festivals that address this issue [of gender diversity], when the biggest mainstream festival event in the country isn’t leading the way,” she says.

Jessica Ducrou, Splendour in The Grass’s co-founder and producer, says they have spent the “best part of a year” booking headliners for the festival, and having a female show closer is a “priority”. 

However, she says fortune wasn’t on their side this time around.  

“Unfortunately all the obvious choices that have been mentioned, along with some others, were unavailable for a variety of reasons – recording schedules, touring commitments internationally or generally off the road, the list goes on. 

“It’s not about money or desire. We try our best and we always want to profile a diverse and well balanced lineup. 43 percent of our acts this year are fronted by or include women.”