Rinse FM and Smirnoff team up for all-female Wireless stage
London based radio station Rinse FM and Smirnoff have teamed up to tackle gender inequality in the music industry at this year’s sold-out Wireless festival. This marks the latest move for Smirnoff’s Equalising Music campaign, which is seeking to redress the gender imbalance on club and festival lineups by 2020.
The news of an all-female lineup is particularly welcome after a rocky start to the year for Wireless. In January, the festival, promoted by Live Nation, faced backlash after only three women appeared on the lineup. Smirnoff and Rinse FM’s all-female lineup is a direct response to this. Sam Salameh, head of Smirnoff, comments: “This is about giving under-represented talent a platform, inspiring the next generation of women headliners and influencing the industry to enable genuine, long-lasting change.”
This new lineup will see a variety of female talent from across a number of urban music genres. It sees local talent from DJs like Barely Legal, Jyoty and Eliza Rose perform alongside talent from around the UK. Taking on hosting duties will be Rinse FM’s own presenters Julie Adenuga and Emerald.
“This is about giving under-represented talent a platform, inspiring the next generation of women headliners and influencing the industry to enable genuine, long-lasting change.”
The promotion of female talent is not a new endeavour for the radio station. Sarah Lockhart of Rinse FM has spoken about Rinse’s commitment: “Since its pirate beginnings, Rinse has been nurturing talent and pushing boundaries.
“It’s fitting to be teaming up with Smirnoff Equalising Music and Wireless to celebrate a wealth of diverse female talent and promote a shift in urban culture.”
The issue of a distinct lack of women in festival lineups is not exclusive to Wireless, nor is it a new concern. FACTS, a bi-annual study of festival lineups across the UK and Europe conducted by Female:Pressure has recorded dismally low percentages of female performers for a number of years. At its lowest in 2013, only 5.6% of artists in festival lineups were women.