There’s hardly any female acts at Reading and Leeds Festival and no one cares

Taken a look at the line-up for Reading and Leeds Festival lately? The keen eyed of you might have noticed something slightly worrying… well, apart from Limp Bizkit of course.

The current Reading and Leeds Festival line-up is made up of 89.6% male acts.

So far from the announced acts, there’s about as many female acts as there are male netball players in existence. But is playing music in a band really as gendered as the current Reading and Leeds Festival line-up makes it seem?

Well before you start burning your bras, past ‘headline’ acts such as HAIM, Florence + The Machine, Paramore, Warpaint, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Chvrches might suggest otherwise. But where are all the ladies this year? Have they been prevented from participating by some chauvinist pig? In a word, no. Their lack of involvement at Reading and Leeds this year is purely circumstantial; some of these bands are touring elsewhere this Summer and others aren’t currently touring at all. That’s all. The same goes for other bands with female members such as Superfood, Blood Red Shoes, Lauren Aquilina, Metronomy and Findlay, who have all played Reading and Leeds Festival on smaller stages in the past.

It’s somewhat patronising to imply that women are being discriminated against within music, when we all clearly know that this isn’t the case. Last time I checked, anybody of any gender is free to create music of whatever genre they please (apart from One Direction, who should please just stop). Just because the line-up of one festival doesn’t reflect a 50/50 gender split, it doesn’t mean anything is ‘wrong’. How contrived would it be if we encouraged musicians to start bands purely to increase the number of women? Or how about we repeat the same female bands over and over again at the same festivals just to keep the female quota up? Yes, that would be much better.

But the most important question here is: does anyone really even care anyway? After all, this isn’t exactly preventing women from having the vote is it? Women can and do play in successful bands all the time, it just so happens that said successful bands aren’t at this particular festival in 2015. Women aren’t being prevented from participating in music in the first place, which just leaves us with a big, fat “so what?”. Just because equal opportunities exist, it doesn’t mean that 50% of all music should be made by women at all times simply because they have the option to do so. Music is (and always will be) purely about the music, regardless of gender. Please don’t try and fool us into thinking otherwise.

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Agree or disagree?