Right now a lot of work is being done by female:pressure members to gather data on the gender ratios of music festivals world wide, to create the next FACTS Survey which will be released next year. Irish music festivals are going to be a much more prominent part of this research.
Since 2012, the online music network female:pressure has gathered in depth representations of over 300 festival editions and has published the methods, data, recommendations, and findings on their website periodically since the research began. The 2017 FACTS Survey surveyed 233 festival editions across 48 countries from the year 2015 to mid-year 2017.
“Overall, for festivals in 2012 to mid-year 2017, 14% of all acts were female acts, 79% were male, 7% were mixed acts, and 1% were unidentified [i.e. acts where the gender could not be assured]” – 2017 FACTS Survey, female:pressure.
The research identifies trends over time and changes in the gender gap at music festivals. Each region is broken down into their individual data sets and further broken down as gender proportions by country. Proportions are measured against each other, and the data takes into account mixed gender acts, non-binary acts, and the size of every festival relative to the number of women. The FACTS Survey is one of the most comprehensive and methodical pieces of research into gender representations at music festivals that is freely available to the public.
Here’s an example of some data from the Body & Soul festival, 2016. This the kind of thing we are measuring, though the data will go into greater detail than what is shown here.
Preparations for the 2019 survey are underway. Along with the team, I will be submitting data for several Irish music festivals taking place from the last half of 2017 onward. There are very exciting things ahead for the Irish music scene.
Research is one of the ways that we can stimulate change in our society. And it is open for everyone to get involved.
“We would like to see and eventually also contribute to a code of conduct: a guideline for best practice for festivals to accommodate the societal and cultural implications that their programs, advertising, and publications produce. We think it is never and has never been “just about the music”. There is much more to a festival than that: the achievement of relevance, economic success, social factors–many times on a very personal level–the advancement of a genre [“adventurous music”], political factors and/or other agendas.” – 2017 FACTS Survey, Discussion, female:pressure.