Annie Mac criticises gender imbalance on the Reading and Leeds Festival line-up

Annie Mac has tweeted her disappointment at the lack of women in the recently announced Reading and Leeds Festival line-up.

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She said: “Feeling so disheartened about this Reading and Leeds line up. At the blatant lack of want to represent women. For all the 16 year old girls going to their first festival at Reading and Leeds 2020. Just know that you DO belong on those stages.”

91 artists have been announced for the festival line-up so far, however only 20 of these are female. Out of the 18 acts who take the main stage over the weekend, just three of them are women.

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Annie Mac has run her own festival Lost & Found for the last six years, hosting an equal split of male and female DJs and artists. This year is no exception as out of the 59 artists announced, 27 of them are female showing a much more equal bill.

Last year one of Europe’s largest festivals, Primavera Sound in Barcelona became the first major festival to have an equal 50/50 gender line-up, and will continue to do so going forwards.

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Matty Healy, lead singer of The 1975 also took to Twitter to say his band will now only perform at festivals that have a gender balanced line-up.

Healy said: “Take this as me signing this contract - I have agreed to some festivals already that may not adhere to this and I would never let fans down who already have tickets. But from now I will and believe this is how male artist can be true allies.”

Annie Mac retweeted Healy, saying other male artists should take note.

The issue, Annie says, goes much deeper than just festivals: “There is under representation on every level of the music industry, from record label MDs, to a&r, to song writing to the artists themselves. It’s just nowhere near equal.”

Jordan Price is a freelance writer, follow her on Twitter

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