UK festivals: only 13% of headliners are women, report finds


Only one in ten headliners at the UK’s top music festivals will be a woman this summer.

Of 200 tracks, a YouGov survey found that 26 were female, one identified as non-binary, 24 had a mixed lineup of male and female artists, and the rest (149) were either an all-male group or a male. solo artist.

This means that only 13% of UK headliners will be female musicians this summer, a BBC study found.

Glastonbury’s headliners this year are Paul McCartney, Kendrick Lamar and Billie Eilish.

Reading and Leeds festival headliners include Arctic Monkeys, Rage Against The Machine, Dave, Bring Me The Horizon, Halsey and Megan Thee Stallion

The headliners of the Latitude festival are all men: Lewis Capaldi, Foals and Snow Patrol.

George Ezra, Disclosure and Kings of Leon headline this year’s Boardmasters festival, which is another predominantly male line-up.

Surprisingly, the headliners of the Wireless festival are all American artists: SZA, Cardi B and Nicki Minaj. This is an improvement over Wireless’ 2021 lineup which only featured four female artists, none of whom headlined.

Last year, singer Mahalia called Wireless’ lineup a “penis fest” in a tweet.

Despite efforts by 45 events pledging to achieve a 50/50 gender balance by 2022, festivals are still lagging behind.

Five years ago, Festival Republic launched the ReBalance project to tackle the gender imbalance in the music industry.

Festival Republic’s CEO, Melvin Benn, said at the launch of the Rebalance initiative in 2017, “Something has to be done for gender equality in the music industry. It’s a bigger problem that concerns us (the live industry) but the solution doesn’t just lie with us.

Lads: Lewis Capaldi and Liam Gallagher are festival favorites

(Lewis Capaldi/Instagram)

Another, more successful initiative, Keychange, announced that three UK festivals managed to meet their gender balance target on time. Standon Calling is the only UK mainstream music festival to have achieved the engagement target,

Enjoy unlimited access to 70 million ad-free songs and podcasts with Amazon Music Sign up now for a 30 day free trial


With over 500 music organizations signing the pledge for gender balance by 2022, Keychange has announced that three UK festivals have successfully met the target on time, with Standon Calling being the only UK mainstream music festival to keep his commitment.

Standon Calling has over 50% female and non-binary artists in its lineup, including headliners on three stages.

Self Esteem, Annie Mac and Anne Marie all headline the Hertfordshire festival this year.

Francine Gorman, Keychange Project Manager said The Independent“Standon Calling is setting a great example for the global festival community, fulfilling its Keychange commitment to feature at least 50% women and sexual minority artists on their stages this year.”

She added: “By demonstrating that gender-representative lineups can be achieved and giving underrepresented artists their rightful place on a prominent festival stage, we hope others will be encouraged to follow suit and take positive steps to achieve gender equality throughout the music industry.


About Author

Comments are closed.