Caroline Polachek Drops Out of Gendered Moogfest Lineup

The singer was not made aware of the festival's entirely female-, trans-, and non-binary-lineup.
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Caroline Polachek (formerly of Chairlift) has announced that she is no longer performing at Moogfest, a multi-day event self-described as “the synthesis of music, art, and technology.” The singer sites the recently announced all-female, -trans, and –non-binary lineup as the reason on Instagram. Yesterday, she explained her feelings and decision in a lengthy, well-worded post.


“Gender is not a genre. I don’t want or need a sympathy pedestal…take me off this list and put me in the pit with the boys, I can and will hold my own,” the post reads. Polachek claims she was not made aware of the lineup prior to announcement, and that she views the direction as “self-congratulatory PR.” The festival’s programmer, James Petrine, apparently sent an email saying “we are excited to take this moment to spotlight artists that historically have been underrepresented in major music spaces,” to which Polachek says, “neither this wording nor this concept was presented to me in the offer.” Earlier in the same post, she says, “To do this without permission from the artists on display is exploitative and unprofessional.”


Yes, it is true that women, especially at music festivals, have seen severe underrepresentation. A Huffington Post data analysis showed that female-only music acts make up only 12% of festival lineups, compared to the 78% of male-only. And while Moogfest’s desire to flip the script is commendable, it should be done at the consent of the participants. As Polachek succinctly puts it: “Choice is the key word here.”

See the full post below. 

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