20-23 July 2023 Jodrell Bank Observatory

Where Are The Women?

With Maxie Gedge (PRS), Lucy Scott (Both Sides Now Programme Manager, Brighter Sounds), Shell Zenner (BBC Introducing) and Emma Zillman (Bluedot Festival). Chaired by Helen Pankhurst.

Given the universality of music, it is difficult to understand the disproportionate representation that lingers on in the music industry today. From record labels through to venue booking and the gigging scene, women occupy a disportionately small space in each of these spheres.

And then there are the festival lineups. If the talent is there, why do festivals struggle to achieve a proportionate gender balance? As the UK festival sector unveils its lineups each year, the same question is posed again and again: where are the women?

The lack of female representation in music is a problem that spans far beyond the festival lineup. As noted on the Brighter Sounds website, only 2% of UK songwriters and composers registered with PRS are women living in the North (PRS), only 15% of record labels are majority owned by women (AIM) and only 32.2% of employees across the industry are female (CC Skills).

In this panel discussion we get to explore the underlying issues, hearing from women in the industry who are actively working towards equity and empowerment in the music business. Appearing on the panel is Maxie Gedge (PRS), Lucy Scott (Both Sides Now Programme Manager at Brighter Sounds), Shell Zenner (BBC Introducing) and Emma Zillmann, Programming Director at From the Fields, who is responsible for booking the lineup at Bluedot. The panel will be chaired by Helen Pankhurst, a leading women’s right’s activist, professor at Manchester Metropolitan University and Chancellor of the University of Suffolk.

Stages

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