Firstly is it fair that Reading Festival gets singled out for this? after all most of the bigger festivals these days have virtually the same bands on them and they are unfortunately very male dominated.
Is this a reflection of that biggest selling groups in the indie world? is the problem far deeper than the festivals and a reflection of just what the public will sadly go and see and a result of problems further down the food chain of bands? Of course there are many great female artists and some of them are selling lots of gig tickets now- but it’s still a minority and this has to change.
Which women musicians and bands could they get to make the bills work? there are a handful that can sell a big festival and not enough and we demand changes but we need the changes to come from the upcoming generation of bands who are the next bands to make it onto the big stages.
Of course it would be great if there was a balance but indie music, like the indie media, is a very male dominated scene – all you have to do is look at the indie media like the NME’s front covers and major features from the last few years to see how deep rooted this problem is with white male artists totally dominating all coverage and leaving Reading- which is a very indie festival stuck with very little choice in who they can actually book. That doesn’t mean things can’t change.
Of course we would like to see this situation changed- but it can’t start with Reading festival- they are stuck with a deck of cards that is handed to them – it has to start at the grass roots. All Reading festival can do is , maybe, manipulate the situation by adding as many women musicians it can on the bill- and that doesn’t mean just a bunch of singers but all types of musicians.