Dedicated to the Business of Contemporary Live Music

Gender equality initiative a ‘statement of intent’

4 March 2018
Vanessa Reed

KENDAL CALLING (cap. 25,000), Liverpool Sound City and Wide Days are among 45 conferences, festivals and other entities to have pledged to support PRS Foundations (PRSF) Keychange initiative, by achieving a 50/50 gender balance at their events by

In total 20 UK events have signed up to the PRSF scheme, launched last year (see LIVE UK issue 214), with others including FOCUS Wales, BBC Music Introducing Stages, The Great Escape and Norwick Sound and Vision.

“Any festival or conference can join this pledge,” PRSF chief executive Vanessa Reed tells LIVE UK. “It’s not about hitting quotas, it’s a statement of intent showing people are committed to change.”

Reed says acts that contain one female are eligible towards bringing gender equality and PRSF will collate data each year to check the scheme’s progress.

Several events are already achieving the 50/50 balance including Manchester Jazz Festival, although Reed is clear that the strength of a festival or conference line-up should not suffer as a result.

“People say women don’t want to speak at conferences, but there are lots of women out there who do, and there are so many talented female artistes,” she says.

Liverpool Sound City’s Rebecca Ayres adds, “Championing equality is at the heart of what we do at Sound City, across our festival and conference programme and within our organisation we strive for diversity in everything we do.”

PRS is hoping up to 100 events will join the pledge this year.

Keychange is supported by the European Union’s Creative Europe programme.

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