That idea of men and women being equal in dance music never really took off, did it? For decades, men dominated lineups everywhere you looked – and frankly, they still do. And no one’s been quite sure over the years how best to get more women DJs onto lineups.
It seems the latest trend is to ban whole groups of people from playing. This isn’t a totally new idea – Aluna recently announced a festival where white people were barred from performing. As far as I’m concerned, dance music fans will ultimately decide whether they succeed or fail through their purchasing choices.
At worst, they won’t make any money and it won’t happen again. At best, they’ll make a lot of money and audiences will be exposed to new talents. And goodness knows the dance music world needs new talent to take it into the future – without being too blunt about it, those stale old faces around now won’t be here forever.
The latest to ban a specific group from the lineup – men, in this case – is Risen, due to take place in Hackney in April. The flyer contains all females…
But how far do you take this stuff? This is the big question which no one has yet attempted to answer. Will men be banned from purchasing tickets to the festival? Will the artists on the lineup be barred from playing any records made by a man? Just how far are people prepared to go here?
To be fair to Rinse, from what I can see, no such bans exist. Men appear to be welcome to buy tickets and come along – just not to work there. And given how male dominated dance music is, finding good records to play which are solely by women would require some impressive, time consuming curation.
I’m watching these developments with interest. And as I said earlier, the market which is the dance music world Will ultimately decide whether these ideas sink or swim…