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Spain’s MIM appoints new board of directors

Spanish association Women in the Music Industry (Mujeres de la Industria de la Música – MIM) has appointed a new board of directors on the third year from its inauguration.

Carmen Zapata, manager of the Catalan Concert Venues Association (Associació de Sales de Concerts de Catalunya), will stay on as MIM president.

Primavera Pro director Almudena Heredero takes on the role of vice president and treasurer, with Patricia Gabeiras, founder of law firm Gabeiras & Associates, will serve as secretary.

Additional new board members are Ticketmaster’s Celia Carrillo, Anxela Baltar of punk two-piece Bala and I Wanna management, Herminia Martínez of Palosanto agency, Maca Arena of Spanish promoters’ organisation APMusicales, Mar Rojo, who programmes Madrid venue El Sol, and Violeta Hernández, founder of live agency La Suite.

Launched in 2016, MIM provides a platform for female music professionals to gain more visibility and works on ways to address the gender imbalance within all sectors of the industry. MIM was last year’s recipient of Primavera Sound’s Primavera Award.

 


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Denmark’s Spot festival pioneers all-female crew

With the push for greater female representation on festival line-ups, women-only stages are becoming increasingly common – witness the Rinse FM stage at Wireless 2018, for example, or the Queen Tut’s stage at this summer’s Transmt in Scotland. Danish showcase festival Spot, however, has taken a different tack, instead bolstering female representation backstage with an all-female crew.

The initiative – a collaboration between Women in Live Music (WILM) and festival organiser Danish Rock Council (ROSA) – saw ROSA invite WILM, a Denmark-based association for women working in the European concert business, to run a stage at Spot with an all-female production team.

“This has never been done in Denmark before – in fact, it is so rare to see women working at live music events in Denmark, and many other places around the world, that some people are not even aware that they exist,” reads a WILM blog post announcing the partnership. “So when ROSA informed us of their initiative and offered us a collaboration crewing a stage at SPOT festival this year, how could we say no?”

After realising the crew could not be all-Danish – there are only around 10 female sound engineers in Denmark, out of more than 700 – WILM opened up for the call for staff to other European countries, and flew in crew members from abroad. It also took on three trainees in Denmark.

Malle Kaas, crew chief, explains: “WILM received resumes from approximately 15 women from all over Europe for the different positions. We voted for the women we thought best suited to the different tasks and then I took interviews with everyone upfront to be make sure they were comfortable, aware of their roles and, most importantly, could be great team players.

“None of the artists or their crew and managers seemed to be thrown off by us. It all felt pretty normal”

“Not only did they need to be competent at their role, they also needed to be able to look after their trainees for the festival.”

Commenting on reactions to the all-female crew, Malle continues: “What was super great was that none of the artists or their crew and managers seemed to be thrown off by us. It all felt pretty normal. Some of them would come up to us after the show saying that they thought it was really cool to see an all-female crew.

“In contrast, the local crew did not seem pleased to see us at the start – but then at the end of the festival, even they came over, asking if they could drink beer with us. So the festival ended with after-show beers for all, good laughs and lots of hugs, just like it should do.”

Spot 2019 took place from 2 to 4 May in Aarhus.

WILM held its inaugural awards last December, honouring Kilimanjaro Live’s Siobháin Brackenridge, Beatbox’s Xenia Grigat and the Eventim Apollo’s Alice James, among others.

Pictured: Stage manager Yu Lu (UK), sound trainee Josephine Mahler (DK), stage trainee Hannah Elmgreen (DK), light trainee Louise Bagger (DK), monitor engineer Lisa Affenzeller (AU), light designer Heida Ragnarsdottir (IS) and FOH engineer/crew chief Malle Kaas (DK)


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Ali Harnell named president of LN’s Women Nation

Live Nation has announced that former AEG Presents executive, Ali Harnell, has joined the company to spearhead women’s initiatives as president and chief strategy officer of the newly created division, Women Nation.

Harnell, Venue Today’s Woman of Influence and a five-time Billboard Women in Music honouree, will lead strategy and efforts – both internal and external – to advance and support women in the live music business, as well as creating and developing female-led and female-driven content.

The new Women Nation president will look to expand on existing Live Nation women’s initiatives, forge partnerships with industry groups, drive research and work to level the playing field for women in the live music industry.

“I am truly excited to dive into this new venture where I can combine my experience and relationships with my passion to help drive this historical and aspirational time of change for women,” comments Harnell.

“Ali’s decades of experience and insight into the opportunities and challenges for women in the live music business make her a powerful champion for the women of Live Nation”

Live Nation says the company is dedicated to finding ways to serve and empower its female staff, who make up 45% of its employee base. Existing programs targeted to women include employee-led group 21 chapters of We Nation, the gender-balanced career development programme, Future Nature, and the Women Nation Fund, an investment fund designed to provide capital to female entrepreneurs in the promotions and events industry.

“Ali’s decades of experience and insight into the opportunities and challenges for women in the live music business make her a powerful champion for the women of Live Nation,” says Live Nation chief executive and president, Michael Rapino. “Our goal is to work together to find scalable ways to empower the women at our company, and across the industry as a whole.”

Twice-named International Entertainment Buyers Association promoter of the year, Harnell joins Live Nation from AEG Presents, where she held the position of senior vice president of global touring. Previously, she worked as senior vice president for AEG/The Messina Group, where she oversaw operations and talent buying in the US southeast and co-created and curated talent for UK-based country music festival, Country2Country.

Harnell will report to Rapino and Bob Roux, president of US concerts. She will be based in Nashville and Los Angeles.

 


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Report: Little change for women in music industry

A recent report from the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative has documented the prevalence of women in the music industry over seven years, showing that little has changed for women in music and, in some cases, representation has worsened over the years.

The study looks at the gender of content creators across 700 popular songs on the Billboard Hot 100 year-end charts from 2012 to 2018, as well as the gender of Grammy award nominees from the past seven years.

Across all seven years, the report finds that only 22% of artists appearing on the year-end list are female. This figure hit a six-year low in 2017, with negligible improvement in 2018 (17% of artists). In 2018, not one woman in a duo or band appeared on the end-of-year chart.

The story is much the same for songwriters, with only 12% of writers credited on the chart being female. Only 2% of producers were female.

With regards to the Grammys, only 10% of all nominees across five categories over the past seven years have been female. The report also shows that female artists are more likely to be nominated for song of the year or best new artist, than for record or album of the year.

“The music industry is still embarrassingly lopsided when it comes to gender parity”

“The music industry is still embarrassingly lopsided when it comes to gender parity,” says DJ and presenter Annie Mac, recently appointed to head up a new gender equality initiative, the Equalising Music Pledge.

“We are all acutely aware of the enormous contribution women make to this business, and yet there’s still so much work to be done to ensure they’re embraced and championed,” says the DJ.

The pledge is the latest initiative from Smirnoff Equalising Music, a three-year, global campaign to accelerate gender parity in the music industry. The campaign is supported by UK booking outfit Coda Agency, and is endorsed by PRS Foundation’s Keychange Initiative, which encourages festival line-ups to achieve a 50/50 gender balance.

Many artists, executives and music industry professionals have brought attention to the lack of women in the music business over the past year, sparking campaigns and initiatives to address the gender imbalance, such as Smirnoff and Rinse FM’s all-female stage at Wireless festival, the inaugural Women in Live Music awards and the Latin American music associations’ gender equality declaration.

The report is the result of work compiled by the University of Southern California Annenberg Inclusion Initiative  and its founder and director, Professor Stacy Smith. A think tank linked to the USC Annenberg school for communication and journalism, the Inclusion Initiative examines diversity and inclusion across the entertainment industry through original research and sponsored projects.

 


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Inaugural Women in Live Music Awards winners announced

Women in Live Music (WILM), a Denmark-based association for women working in the European concert business, has announced the winners of its inaugural WILM Awards.

A statement from the association, established in February, says the awards were launched in reaction to the “fact that in every award show related to the touring/production world, you will find only two, perhaps three, nominated women. We wanted to raise awareness of the talented women out there in our industry.”

Xenia Grigat of Beatbox Entertainment in Denmark was named best concert promoter, taking 541 votes of the more than 1,500 cast for all winners, with Siobháin Brackenridge of the UK’s Kilimanjaro Live honoured as best promoter rep and Communion Records’ Carly Rockett as best ticketing manager.

Erin Lynch of FlyingFox in Sweden took home the award for best TM, while Anna Gideonsson of Palindrom Produktion, also in Sweden, was recognised as best production manager. Briton Anna Mac was named best lighting technician, with Alice James (Eventim Apollo, London) awarded best venue technical manager, Swede Jessica Maria Thorzen best driver and Henriette Aaberg of Norway best production coordinator.

A full list of winners is below:

“Having a ceremony celebrating women in our industry, celebrating us, is a fantastic idea,” comments Anna Mac. “We are awesome and deserve to be celebrated, so thank you to Women in Live Music for organising this and giving women the opportunity to honour each other.

“Women need to see other women, they want to see other women, and they want to see each other succeed. We are champions of each other. In an industry that is pretty brutal at times, physically and mentally, it is reassuring that women are supporting women. So, again, thank you for these awards.”

 


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DHP Family to host Women in Music event

Senior execs at DHP Family and Academy Music Group and the tour managers for London Grammar and Frank Turner will be among the women sharing their experiences of working in the male-dominated live music industry at next week’s Women in Music Event hosted by UK promoter DHP.

The event, on Wednesday 7 March at Rescue Rooms in Nottingham, will be introduced by Kate Nicholls, chief executive of trade body ALMR, and comprises panels featuring insights from women working in the business, as well as those advocating for change.

DHP Family’s Michele Philips says: “Our ambition is to shine a spotlight on the issues including, but not exclusive to, why women don’t apply for positions in venues anymore, and also provide a platform for positive change. We want to identify tangible things that can be done to address the shocking levels of gender imbalance that still exist throughout the industry.

“It feels like the right time for us to be trying to bring about change in our industry”

“The #MeToo movement has been incredibly powerful in that it’s given a voice to the marginalised, but also put the issue of inequality at the forefront of many discussions. It feels like the right time for us to be trying to bring about change in our industry, especially with it being 100 years since some women gained the right to vote. We should all be looking at ways in which we can make a difference.”

The company’s owner, George Akins, adds: “It’s really important to try and encourage more women to break into our industry. Nottingham is a hotbed for music companies: we have promoters, record companies, ticket agents and talent managers working across all genres of music on a national level. I really believe if we can address the imbalance in Nottingham it will have a strong effect across the country.

“Hopefully this event will show that there are roles and support for more women to get involved.”

For more information and a full line-up of panellists, visit the event’s Facebook page. To buy tickets, click here.

 


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New season to celebrate “remarkable women” in RAH history

The Royal Albert Hall has announced a new season of concerts, talks, comedy and networking events which hopes to celebrate the role of women in the London venue’s storied history – and help future female industry leaders succeed in an “unequal, male-dominated” music industry.

The 5,272-capacity concert hall – the site of 20 suffragette rallies, 100 years of Women’s Institute (WI) meetings and Janis Joplin’s only UK solo show – will “examine the roles of women in Britain, past, present and future” in Women and the Hall, which runs from January to April 2018.

Among the highlights of the season will be:

Women and the Hall will also include live music programming, with the venue’s regular regular Late Night Jazz, Live Music Brunch and Classical Coffee Mornings slots given over to female performers.

“We want to … engage with the critical issues facing women in Britain today and look to the future, celebrating the artistry and creative energy of up-and-coming female voices in music”

Artists playing the season include Emma-Jean Thackray, Nérija and Vula Viel (Late Night Jazz), Deelee Dubé (Live Music Brunch) and the senior girls’ choir from the National Youth Choir (Classical Coffee Mornings), with more to be announced soon.

“The hall has been at the centre of British cultural life for nearly 150 years, and in that time has played host to an extraordinary number of remarkable women, whose talent, determination and vision has helped to shape the country, and the world, as we know it,” comments Noble.

“On the centenary of the Representation of the People Act [which enfranchised women], we want to mark that legacy, engage with the critical issues facing women in Britain today and look to the future, celebrating the artistry and creative energy of up-and-coming female voices in music, and – through our Industry Insights event – helping them forge a path through an industry that’s unequal, male-dominated, and contains particular and ongoing challenges for women.”

In addition the widely publicised gender imbalance in live music, IQ revealed last month that many women working in the industry have been subject to inappropriate behaviour from male counterparts, with most agreeing on the need to create a culture when women are given equal opportunities to succeed – and aren’t scared to speak out against the perpetrators of abuse.

Tickets for Women and the Hall go on sale at 9am on Friday from www.royalalberthall.com.

 


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Young women drive strong Spanish festival sector

Women aged 29 and under are the largest market for music festivals in Spain.

Of the three million people who bought tickets to the country’s 50 biggest music festivals in 2015, 54 per cent were women and 46 per cent men, with the majority being between 16 and 29 years of age and living in Spain’s largest cities (the top five hometowns are Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Seville and Alicante, in that order), reveals data from Spanish ticketing platform Ticketea.

From 136 days of music, the 50 festivals attracted an average of 22,308 attendees – closing in on the 35,649 who attend the average Liga de Fútbol match – with the three largest, Rototom Sunsplash, Viña Rock and the soon-to-be-evicted Arenal Sound, breaking the 200,000 mark.

Catalonia has more festivals (166) than any other Spanish region, as has been the case since 2004, with Andalusia (118) in second and Madrid (110) – currently experiencing something of a festival resurgence – in third. The total number of music festivals in Spain has remained constant at around 1,000 for the past decade, with the exception of 2010, when it dropped to 727 amid the ongoing financial crisis.

Britain supplies the largest number of foreign tourists to Spanish festivals, followed by Germany, France, Italy and the US.