Music

Lily Allen Calls Out Music Festival for Lack of Gender Diversity

Festival producers haven’t learned have they?

Despite ample support and increased visibility, gender inequality is still very much part of our daily lives. Earlier this month it was reported that actress Michelle Williams was paid significantly less than co-star Mark Wahlberg (1,500 times less, to be exact) for the reshooting of their film All the Money in the World. Before that, former E! News host Catt Sadler famously left the network after learning that her co-host Jason Kennedy earned almost double her salary.

Of course, inequality is a problem that is hardly exclusive to television and film. The highly male-dominated music industry has long perpetuated a sexist narrative (see Kesha’s battle with alleged abuser Dr. Luke). Still not convinced? Take a look at any given music festival lineup poster. Or, for instance, the one for this year's Wireless Festival, which boasts several amazing acts, but all (except three) are men. 

Earlier today, British singer Lily Allen posted a slightly different version of the festival’s original line-up to Twitter. “The struggle is real,” she wrote, shedding some much-needed light on the event’s gross lack of diversity.

Allen is hardly the first musician to speak up against drastic gender imbalance at music festivals. Halsey recently called out Delaware's Firefly Festival asking "Where the women at?" after pointing out that out of the 95 acts set to perform, only 19 were women. A report from Buzzfeed showed that male performers have dominated the bills for Coachella since 1999, while an article for HuffingtonPost revealed that despite women making up over half of music festival attendees (51%) festivals fail to cater their acts to them. 

So what exactly can we do about it? While there isn't a one-size-fits-all solution, holding these festivals accountable and calling them out for their bullshit is surely a step in the right direction. We must hold these entities up to a higher standard, continuing to spark conversations that promote gender diversity. 

It's what she deserves. 

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