Following criticism of Reading and Leeds festival for its heavily male lineup, frontman Matt Healy says this is how male craftsmen can be true allies
Matt Healy, frontman of Brit award-winning band the 1975, has said the group will merely act at celebrations with a gender-balanced lineup.
Healy was responding to a bellow by the Guardian’s deputy music editor Laura Snapes for the band to” add a condition to your rider that says you’ll simply represent galas that is under an obligation X%( ideally 50% !) plays that include women and non-binary performers “. He wrote:” Take this as me signing this contract- I have agreed to some fairs previously that may not adhere to this and I would never let followers down who already have tickets. But from now I will, and believe this is how male craftsmen can be true collaborators .”
He computed:” I’m sure my negotiators are having kittens right now but time’s up man people need to act and not chat .”
Healy’s decision comes in the wake of the announcement of the lineup for Reading and Leeds festival, which are still skew heavily in favour of male musicians. Out of the 91 masters in the first bulletin, exclusively 20 are female or feature women. Exclusively three of the 18 plays announced for its central stage include girls. Criticising the lineup, Snapes had argued that bands need to” use their leveraging to demand equality on the greenback “.
Healy told the Guardian that the issue of inclusivity and representation at music celebrations was important,” because the people that go to them feel more included and more represented. It’s as simple as that. All the best art for me stimulated me feel personally addressed .”
He praised Reading and Leeds promoter Melvin Benn for helping the band carry out environmental strategies around their 2019 headline defines at the carnival, and at their one-day festival in London’s Finsbury Park this summer. Healy said that if it was possible to utter environmental alteration on this scale-” they have the will to do it that runs outside of personal gain”- the issue of gender inequality at galas could also be tackled.
Healy said he wanted to see other male musicians making similar steps to ensure the equal representation of women , non-binary and transgender musicians.” It’s all about act ,” he said.” When it comes to big-hearted sociopolitical issues and governments are involved, sometimes war or demonstration can simply be ignored. But when it comes to the music industry, we can change that. It’s not a geopolitical ordeal: it’s the music industry, and it’s something that if everybody gets on board, we can fix .”
When asked how he thought how booking operators would respond to his decision, he said he was ” extremely sceptical of the idea of people’s short-term or long-term personal revenue not ever being prime”, but that he hoped an influx of younger people in decision-making personas would affect change.” I’m not saying the people in those personas now are blindly ignorant, but people need a kick up the arse. And we should accept that some people are willing to learn .”
The 1975′ s Finsbury Park show peculiarities seven subsistence plays, six members of which boast alone female performers. Healy said the billing wasn’t intended as any kind of statement, but as a representation of what he and devotees of the 1975 listen to.” So it doesn’t make sense that there’s such a lack of representation[ in festival lineups ].”
The 1975, who acquired two Brits awardings in 2019 and whose three albums have all topped the UK planneds, headlined the Reading and Leeds festival in 2019, where five of the 25 main-stage behaves featured brides. In another tweet, Healy said:” Phase is that Reading and Leeds with more ladies would be honestly the best celebration in the world .”
Critics of Reading and Leeds festival have re-edited the posting to remove all of the male masters to highlight the inequality, a tradition that took off in 2015, when the lineup announcement merely featured nine girl plays. Other major 2020 celebrations have a similarly austere gender separate, including Wireless, which facets merely six female artists in the different regions of the 43 acts announced so far.
Campaigning against gender inequality in music carnivals has been growing in recent years, with commemorations including the BBC Proms, Bluedot and Liverpool Sound City signing up to the Keychange initiative, pledging to have at least 50% female artists on their lineups by 2022. Barcelona’s Primavera festival reached the 50% target last year, and continues to meet it with its 2020 lineup.