Among the UK’s biggest festival lineups this year only 21% of performers are female, according to research by insurance specialist Protectivity.
It found only 10% of artists at Wireless 2021 (cap. 49,000) are female, the lowest proportion among the festivals involved in the report, followed by TRNSMT (50,000) with 12%. Reading and Leeds (105,000) and Isle of Wight Festival (50,000) were just behind with 14% of this year’s line-ups being female. Last year was the worst year for Reading and Leeds in terms of gender balance, with female artists accounting for 9% of its lineup.
Parklife (80,000) has the most even split this year with a 44% female lineup, followed by Glastonbury’s virtual event Live at Worthy Farm with 38% of artists being female. This has decreased by 12% from its equal split in 2020, but is higher than 2019’s lineup, which was 32%.
The data also found that Bestival (10,000) with 32% female artists has increased its gender balance the most this year – up from 10% in 2020. Latitude (40,000), has a 29% female lineup this year.
Despite 2020’s festival inactivity, the lineups were the best for gender splits at festivals, with bills including almost a quarter (22%) of female artists on average. 2021 has an average of 21% female artists represented in festival lineups, while 2019’s lineups had on average 20% female artists included.
The data follows S&C Productions’ Strawberries & Creem (10,000) becoming the first festival to sign the 50:50 Pledge by non-profit advocacy organisation Girls I Rate (GIR). Equality advocacy group Keychange is pushing for a 50/50 gender split among acts at festivals by 2022.
Protectivity Insurance marketing manager Sean Walsh said, “It’s important for the gender gap to be closed in all settings, whether that be at festivals or the workplace – so it’s great to see that some of these festivals are striving towards having a 50/50 split and working towards an even playing field for all.”
The full report can be found here.