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Keychange, a campaign group working to encourage gender equality in the music industry, has released its Impact Evaluation Report (2018-2023) and new manifesto.

The Impact Evaluation Report will be launched at the conference programme during Tallinn Music Week in Estonia on 5 April under the banner ‘Rewind and Fast Forward’.

Conducted by independent evaluator Dr Matina Magkou, the report explores the initiative’s impact on women and gender-diverse individuals since its inception in 2018, as well as its impact on the wider music industry.

It will be accompanied by an updated Keychange Manifesto 2.0, following collaborative sessions with artists and other industry professionals. Both documents will be available for download from the Keychange website post-event.

The Rewind Fast Forward Keychange program will also host numerous performances of Keychange artists on the opening night of the festival on 4 April.

Keychange was initiated by six original partners in 2015, led by Vanessa Reed, former CEO of PRS Foundation in response to the gender imbalance within the music industry.

Today, Keychange is led by a core team consisting of PRS Foundation (UK), Reeperbahn Festival (DE) and Musikcentrum Öst (SE) and has evolved into a global movement with 650+ partners and collaborators across 40+ countries.

Since 2018, Keychange has invested more than €2.75m in 306 participants in its flagship talent development programme across five cohorts. Of this, 153 artists and 153 innovators have been supported to advance their careers through cross-border collaborations, facilitating 155 showcase performances for artists and providing over 160 speaking opportunities (as panellists, moderators, experts and trainers) for innovators.

Each participant receives an average investment of €9,000, covering various costs including access, accompaniment and childcare expenses.

Impact Evaluation Report

Although the initiative initially centred on gender equity, the report acknowledges the importance of taking a more intersectional approach to be more inclusive and sensitive when addressing wider inequalities in the music industry, including factors such as ethnic diversity and race, disability, age or parenthood.

Focusing on participant demographics and impact highlights, the Impact Evaluation Report reveals a diverse cohort with a significant portion of participants in the Keychange initiative identified as LGBTQIA+ (42.8%), with varying identities including Bisexual, Queer, Pansexual, Gay/Lesbian, and ‘Other’. In comparison, 57.2% identified as Heterosexual or Straight.

About one-third (28.6%) of the selected participants identified as belonging to the global majority within their respective countries.

The report also underscores the importance of childcare top-up support which was required by 14.1% of selected participants, indicating a need for additional support in balancing childcare responsibilities with program participation.

Furthermore, 18.6% of selected participants identified as deaf, disabled, or having an impairment affecting their day-to-day lives, highlighting the importance of accessibility considerations.

Encouragingly, 76% of participants reported initiating movements promoting gender equity within the music industry in their own environments, reflecting the initiative’s impact on fostering advocacy and activism.

In assessing the Keychange network and reach, the report recognises the impact of the Keychange Pledge – a network that brings together a diverse ecosystem of partners, including organisations, companies and any entities within the music industry who pledge to achieve a 50% and over gender balance in their programming, staffing and beyond.

In 2018, 45 festivals worldwide signed up to the Keychange Pledge. This has grown to a network today that comprises over 650 signatories spanning 40+ countries – representing a 1344% increase in signatories from 2018 to 2024.

This reach is bolstered by the support of 43 influential ambassadors, such as Tayla Parx (US), Rebecca Ferguson (UK), Nadine Shah (UK), Peaches (DE), and Flore Benguigui (FR), Tegan and Sara (CA), Linnea Henriksson (SE), Joy Denalane (DE).

Together the Keychange network has a collective reach valued at $52.74 million in advertising value equivalent.

Keychange Manifesto 2.0

After its unveiling at TMW, the Keychange Manifesto 2:0 report will be presented to all partner festivals and the European Commission.

While there has been an advance towards gender equality in the industry, the need for sustained leadership and deeper industry support is evident, said Keychange.

The manifesto outlines a 10-point call to action aimed at legislators, policymakers, and all sectors of the music industry, including live events, recording, publishing, sync, and broadcasting.

The recommendations include creating safer spaces, tackling the gender pay gap, promoting intersectional representation and advocating for education and awareness.

Keychange project manager at PRS Foundation, Christina Hazboun, said, “We hope that both [documents] will serve the wider music community to achieve a more diverse, inclusive and equitable music industry for all and that the learnings that we acquired are shared with everyone who would like to find out more about how we ran this project.”

TMW founder and managing director Helen Slidna said, “We had realised that gender equity can only be tackled at a broader international initiative. And Keychange was exactly that.”

For further details about the Keychange Impact Evaluation Report and Manifesto 2.0, visit