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Germany’s BDKV joins Keychange

The trade body says signing up to the gender equality scheme highlights its "commitment to a diverse and socially sustainable event industry"

By James Hanley on 06 Mar 2023

A total of 577 incidents were reported by 260 members

German live music trade body BDKV has joined gender equality initiative Keychange.

The BDKV says the move shows it is “increasing its commitment to a diverse and socially sustainable event industry”, noting that the proportion of women or non-binary people on and behind the stages of the concert industry is currently less than 20%, the BDKV.

“The BDKV is aware of the social role of the concert and event industry,” says BDKV MD Johannes Everke. “We are proud and right to emphasise that our industry builds bridges like no other and connects people in the shared experience of cultural events. But this role also comes with a responsibility.

“We would like to implement the community spirit that we feel directly at concerts in our everyday work. For us, this includes promoting questions of diversity in the structures of the concert and event industry and taking a mediating position. This is exactly where the Keychange campaign comes in.”

Everke adds that the organisation already implemented its first measures with equal representation on the new board and at management level, in teams and committees, or on panels, at its events.

“However, the most important measure for us is that we want to have an effect on our industry in order to encourage more diversity there and – in addition to those who have already joined – to inspire other of our member companies to join Keychange as well,” adds Everke. “As a first step, we made training content available and provided information on best practices.”

“It is the responsibility of every member of the music industry to bring about urgent change”

Last month, Keychange revealed details of its Pledge Action Plan, outlining the next steps for the scheme. More than 600 music festivals and organisations have taken the Keychange Pledge implementing sustainable structures and practices to provide more space and more opportunities for women and gender expansive creators and professionals throughout the music industry.

“The Keychange Pledge, in which members define their goals for more gender diversity, has proven to be an effective tool over the past five years to drive institutional change,” says Keychange Germany project manager Lea Karwoth. “It is the responsibility of every member of the music industry to bring about urgent change.

“We are very pleased that the BDKV is now part of the Keychange Movement and that members are also being called upon to join Keychange in order to create a diverse, representative and sustainable music industry for everyone.”

The development comes in the midst of controversy in the UK over the all-male headliners for the 2023 Glastonbury festival.

Co-organiser Emily Eavis said the event had originally lined up a female headliner who ultimately had to pull out. However, speaking to the Guardian, Eavis suggested the issue was related to problems with the talent pipeline.

“We’re trying our best so the pipeline needs to be developed,” she said. “This starts way back with the record companies, radio. I can shout as loud as I like but we need to get everyone on board.”


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