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40 new events join Keychange gender-parity pledge

A host of new international festivals will tomorrow at Sound City formally commit to the Keychange initiative, which involves a 50/50 gender balance by 2022

By IQ on 03 May 2018

Keychange, PRS Foundation

image © PRS Foundation

Norway’s Sørveiv, Malta’s Lost & Found, Brazil’s Subtropikal and the UK’s Cambridge Folk Festival are among the latest festivals to have pledged to achieve a 50/50 gender balance by 2022, as PRS Foundation’s Keychange initiative welcomes a further 40 events.

The latest round of Keychange partners follow the 45 European music festivals and conferences who signed up in February, bringing the total number of events who have made the pledge to achieve or maintain gender parity (on line-ups, conference speakers and commissions) over the next four years to more than 85.

Other new festivals joining the initiative include Pete the Monkey in France, VUT Indie Days in Germany, B-Side in Switzerland, Relevance in Denmark, Jazzkaar in Estonia, Black Deer in the UK, Halifax Pop Explosion in Canada and the Temple stage of the UK’s Bestival.

Vanessa Reed, CEO of PRS Foundation, which will tomorrow hold a reception at new partner Liverpool Sound City, comments: “We’re thrilled that Liverpool Sound City has joined the Keychange partnership and is hosting an event which celebrates the fact that another 40 festivals have joined since we launched at Canada House a few months ago.

“If a folk festival can do it, then others can too”

“It’s been hugely encouraging to hear from such a broad range of independent music events who recognise the benefits of championing more female artists across their stages.”

“Cambridge Folk Festival is delighted to be part of the Keychange initiative,” adds the festival’s Rebecca Stewart, “especially as we currently aim for a 50/50 balance on the line-up and have done so for a number of years. We want to be held up as a shining example that this is possible, and that if a folk festival can do it, then others can too.

“We hope it will inspire women to expect to be up there with the best and to keep fighting. And, as we are predominately a female managed festival, we want to show that women are as successful behind the scenes as well.”

In addition to gender-equal lineups, the Keychange programme – backed by the EU’s Creative Europe project – has to date produced a series of popular panels and showcases at Reeperbahn Festival, BIME, Iceland Airwaves, Eurosonic and, most recently, Tallinn Music Week.


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