Out of 200 headline acts, a YouGov survey found 26 were female, one identified as non-binary, 24 had a mixed line-up of male and female performers, and the rest (149) were either an all-male band or a male solo artist.
This year’s Glastonbury headliners are Paul McCartney, Kendrick Lamar and Billie Eilish.
Reading and Leeds festival headliners include Arctic Monkeys, Rage Against The Machine, Dave, Bring Me The Horizon, Halsey and Megan Thee Stallion
Latitude festival headliners are all men: Lewis Capaldi, Foals and Snow Patrol.
George Ezra, Disclosure and Kings of Leon are headlining Boardmasters festival this year, which is another overwhelmingly male line-up.
Surprisingly, Wireless festival headliners are all female artists from the US: SZA, Cardi B and Nicki Minaj. This is an improvement on Wireless’s 2021 line-up which featured only four female artists, none of which were headliners.
Last year, singer Mahalia called out Wireless’s lineup for being a “penis fest” in a tweet.
Despite efforts made by 45 events pledging to achieve a 50/50 gender balance by 2022, festivals are still falling behind.
Five years ago, Festival Republic launched the ReBalance project to address the gender imbalance in the music industry.
Festival Republic managing director Melvin Benn said, when the Rebalance initiative was launched in 2017: “Something needs to be done about gender equality in the music industry. It’s a wider issue that involves us (the live industry) but the solution doesn’t rest only with us.
Another, more successful initiative Keychange, has announced that a number of UK festivals have managed to hit their gender balance target in time. Standon Calling is the only mainstream UK music festival to reach the pledge target. Other festivals include Liverpool Sound City and Cambridge festival Strawberries & Creem.
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Standon Calling has more than 50 per cent female and non-binary artists on its line-up, including headliners across three stages.
Self Esteem, Annie Mac and Anne Marie are all headlining the Hertfordshire festival this year.
Standon Calling founder and director Alex Trenchard told The Indpendent: “When we signed up to Keychange back in 2018, we pledged that we would commit to ensuring 50:50 gender balance on our line up by 2022.”
“At the time this felt like a huge challenge, but we’re delighted to say that we’ve now achieved that figure with 52% of acts on our 2022 line up identifying as female or non-binary,” he said.
Francine Gorman, Keychange Project Manager said: “Standon Calling are setting a great example to the global festival community, by achieving their Keychange pledge of programming at least 50 per cent women and gender minority artists to their stages this year.”
She added: “By demonstrating that gender representative lineups can be achieved, and by giving under-represented artists their rightful space on a prominent festival stage, we hope that others will be encouraged to follow suit and to take positive action towards achieving gender equality throughout the music industry.”