Report: Women In Music 2018

Women In Music Event – Leeds – Sunday 14th October

For the second year running, Leeds Music Hub played host to the Women In Music Event on Sunday 14th October, which saw a variety of women from across the music industry come together to share their insight and advice. The event ran from 12pm and attracted a large number of local women, from grass root artists through to engineers, all eager to get involved in the debates and panel discussions.

L-R – Dr Leah Kardos / Aubrey Whitfield / Lauren Deakin-Davies / Jeanne Albin

The lack of women in the music industry has been highlighted frequently in recent times, a fact backed up by PRS’s Vanessa Reed, who stated in her presentation for Key Change that only 17% of those PRS registered are women. Key Change is a project aimed at festivals all over the world to encourage their line ups to be more of an equal split between genders. The festivals themselves have come up with an aim to make this happen by the year 2022. You can check Key Change out here. 

Vanessa Reed – Key Change

Another great project worth talking about is ReBalance, which again aims to bridge the gender gap at festivals in the future starting by allowing women musicians in Leeds some amazing opportunities. But the question still remains; how can we make this happen?

It is a known fact that festival organisers put the most popular acts in the headline slots. They are majorly swayed by the charts and listening figures from platforms such as Spotify, who have recently revealed that their most listened to artists are mostly men, with only two acts being female in the top ten most listened to artists. Knowing these facts encourages festivals to ask the most listened to artists to play as it means they will be giving their audience the artists they want to see, keeping the festival popular.

If this is an issue at the higher end of the industry, I can only imagine how much of a struggle it is for local artists to get a look in in the first place. We need a better structure on the local scene before we can start to tackle the problems on a mass scale. Local promoters and radio hosts, I’m looking at you. Let’s make our playlists and event line ups more of an equal gender split and get local artists more recognition.

Bad Ideas

The music industry needs more women in order to help combat this change. It needs the men of the industry to stand with women and help make this happen. Together, we can change these listening stats and get female artists the recognition they deserve. Together, we can encourage women to take a chance to step into a very male dominated world and become a sound engineer or song writer if they so wish. There are opportunities in the music industry for everybody so if you’re thinking about it, regardless of gender, go for it.

L-R Laura Cortes / Anna Prior / Claire Rose / Rebecca Ayres

As a parting note and to help encourage more women to take a chance in the music industry, here are a few funding opportunities mentioned at the event that you can potentially look at. Check them out here:

Help Musicians UK

PRS Writers and Producers Fund

Women Make Music Fund