Fingers crossed we can start seeing more live music and attending festivals across Australia in the coming months. There’s no lack of excitement surrounding the prospect of this, but as we start to head back into these good times, it’s also time to think about how conscious our listening and support is.
The Australian music industry has a noticeable gender gap. Thankfully, this is slowly narrowing, however men continue to dominate the scene at almost every level.
Each year since 2016, Triple J has broken this topic down in a report called ‘By the Numbers’. It studies all aspect of the music industry in Australia from managers, to competitions, to the artists and beyond, highlighting the gender disparity. You can access the most recent report here.
Vice also studied one of Australia’s biggest festivals, Laneway, looking beyond gender and into other aspects of diversity and cultural representation. The article highlighted that at the most recent Laneway Festival (2019), the line-up held a ratio of 24.5% women performing to 75.5% men. This, however was an improvement on 2017’s 16.5% women, and 83.5% men.
The article looks beyond Laneway to find that the low 20’s is a pretty consistent number of women being represented on festival line ups. You can view the article which was packed with more interesting figures here.
The University of Newcastle addressed this issue in their 2020 initiative, ‘Girls to the Front’. Alongside the Triple J’s report, the university identified the same figures presenting in their competitions. They took some awesome steps to encourage female participation, which led to 38% of the acts in the comps having a female member, a huge improvement on 2016’s competition where 0% of the acts had female members.
The good news though…there’s some simple ways which you can help support female artist’s in your day to day. Spotify has recently released a collection of playlists under the category Equal. These are awesome, jam packed, women led playlists. You can support on a local level through downloading the Aus/NZ playlist, or listen globally.
Even better news…if you’re a student, Spotify has an amazing discount for you.
The platform also has a great selection of podcasts which are female led and full of insightful information and funny stories.
It’s so easy to show our support to these awesome women. We hope their success will inspire you to support and encourage more female students in the arts and help redress the gender disparity in these industries.