An investigation of the extent to which gender inequality exists within the UK's music festival sector.
(2016) An investigation of the extent to which gender inequality exists within the UK's music festival sector., no. 56.
The sole aim of this study is to conduct critical investigation of the extent to which gender inequality is present within the UK's music festival sector. The objectives were to uncover the reasons for any gender-based inequality found to be at large in the sector, form a comparison between festival line-ups to identify any similarities, critically assess the process of music festival line-up curation and its influences and also identify areas for future improvements in regard to gender balance on festival line-ups and the methods by which these improvements can be fulfilled. A review of the pre-existing literature on the subject area was completed, throughout which a number of themes including the discrimination of women in music professionalism and perception of women in the media were identified. These themes strongly dictated the format of the accompanying research. The research followed a qualitative design in which a series of semi-structured interviews were carried out with music festival attendees and music event organisers. The questions asked of them sought to gather their thoughts and opinions on the past, present and future state of the music industry in terms of gender equality and how they believed this impacted the gender balance seen at festivals. Overall, the study found that there is a problem with gender inequality present within the UK's music festival sector with a significantly lower number of female acts appearing on festival line-ups than males (Sedghi and Stevens, 2015). The underlying reasons contributing to this were found to include the often unfair treatment and portrayal of women in the media, the historic discrimination faced by female professionals in the music industry and the prejudice of female musicianship. It was also determined by research respondents that due to the severity and long-term nature of the issue, any solutions available were going to take a considerable period of time to come about and make any noticeable change.