Leeds & West Yorkshire

Scheme for more Leeds-based female festival acts

Katy Perry at Glastonbury Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Katy Perry made a colourful splash at Glastonbury 2017

A scheme has been set up to help more female performers top the bill at music festivals.

Promoter Festival Republic said the three-year project, based in Leeds, would act as a step up for female artists in the UK.

ReBalance is to provide recording studio time for chosen performers until 2020 under the scheme.

The successful acts would then also appear at Festival Republic or Live Nation Festivals.

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A recent BBC study found festivals failed to reflect the diversity of the UK music scene, with headline slots being dominated by a small band of male rock acts.

Some eight out of 10 top slots were occupied by all-male acts, analysis of more than 600 headline appearances across 14 major festivals found.

Image copyright Various
Image caption From top left clockwise: Rihanna, Florence Welch, Grace Jones, Joanna Newsom, Pink and Beyonce

Singer Ellie Goulding commented on the lack of women performing at music festivals in a series of tweets in July saying she did not see many females in the line-ups.

Melvin Benn, of Festival Republic who put on Leeds and Reading festivals among others, said: "Something needs to be done about gender equality in the music industry."

"ReBalance will enable future, and current female musicians to have the support they need in order to be recognised."

An apprenticeship scheme is also to be launched to encourage female studio and production engineers.

Women represent about 16% of UK songwriters and composers and there is a lack of women in other industry roles according to the PRS Foundation musical charity that is involved in the new venture.

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Media captionUK festival line-ups dominated by male headliners

ReBalance aims to strengthen "the talent pipeline" and give female artists and engineers new routes into the industry.‚Äč

A selection panel - including Melvin Benn and Vanessa Reed (PRS Foundation) is to choose the successful artists and engineers.

They will get studio time, travel and accommodation support and an all-important festival slot.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The stage often does not reflect the make-up of the crowd

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