Festival inequality and one take you won’t hear on the BBC…

Here at Ears To The House, we don’t know everything. So whenever we do come across a gap in our knowledge, we contact our industry insider. He’s a man with decades of experience in the dance music world – running a label, appearing on numerous festivals and even managing a few himself, DJing around the world – there’s little he hasn’t done over the years.

And even better than that, he speaks to us – but under the strict provision of anonymity, which we’re more than happy to respect. This week, the BBC reported that the festivals were still failing woefully to book women, despite many of them promising to do better several years ago. So what’s gone wrong?

Our insider’s take on this is rather controversial. He told us “There are a few festivals who do care about this stuff. They’re the ones who are finding it pretty easy to accomplish – there are a lot of women out there to choose from. But the harsh truth is a lot of the festivals just don’t give a s***. They see this as just some kind of woke agenda at work.”.

“One person who owns a festival recently told me he thought it had never been harder to be a white man in this industry. The irony that his festival had far more white men on it than anything else seemed to be totally lost on him. There’s a lot of his type who think the same way. But it’s not the biggest reason for the lack of change.”.

“The biggest is Covid related. After two years, most of the festivals are financially f***ed. They’re in a lot of trouble, so they’re going all out to book names which they know will definitely sell tickets. And to be honest, I think they’ve got a point. You can’t book anyone if you haven’t got any money. Running a festival has never been so expensive and the established guys are taking no risks. They can’t afford to.”.

You can make your own minds up…

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