Strawberries & Creem festival has become the first event to sign up to a new pledge working to achieve gender equality on festival lineups.
The non-profit organisation Girls I Rate aim to increase representation for women within music, and are asking events to sign a 50/50 gender split pledge.
GIR was founded in 2016 by Grammy award-winning songwriter Carla Marie Williams, and advocates for gender equality in the music and entertainment businesses in the UK, as well as organising educational programmes for women.
In a statement regarding the new partnership with Strawberries & Creem, Williams said: “Every year we see a disproportionate number of men being announced on festival line-ups, and change has been happening very slowly. We are thrilled to have the support of Strawberries & Creem, the first festival to sign our GIR 50:50 Pledge, and show that it is totally possible to make it happen in 2021.
“We are hopeful that many more festivals will follow and help us achieve our pledge to create the equal opportunities that women deserve in the music industry.”
We promise to curate gender-balanced line-ups, as we have done for S&C 2021 – and advocate for gender equality & diversity in all our work.
— Strawberries & Creem Festival (@SandCFestival) May 28, 2021
Preye Crooks, co-founder and booker of the festival, added: “As a growing festival with a close-knit team, it’s paramount to us that we use the platform we have to address issues in our society where we can. Championing gender equality, and supporting the best and brightest talent in the business, are both values we hold close – so alongside GIR, we wanted to take a visible and conscious stand.
“We’re delighted to have a gender-balanced line-up this year, and we will be working with GIR to do what we can to support gender equality and diversity, and empower women in the music industry.”
Speaking to NME recently, campaigners said that festivals that don’t book gender-balanced lineups will “get left behind”.
Laura Davidson, previously the head booker at London’s All Points East Festival, said: “I feel like now is the time for the industry to come together and work out how the gender balance throughout the whole industry can be addressed.
“Labels, managers, artists and promoters should all be looking at their rosters and ensuring they are supporting women and gender minorities. The whole ecosystem is so male-dominated and this needs to change.”
Strawberries & Creem 2021, taking place this September in Cambridge, will be headlined by Burna Boy, PARTYNEXTDOOR, Koffee and Bugzy Malone.
Credit: Original article published here.