S&C Productions’ Strawberries & Creem (S&C) has become the first festival to sign the 50:50 Pledge by non-profit advocacy organisation Girls I Rate (GIR) to advocate for gender equality and diversity in its programming and staffing.

Women will make up over half of the acts at the 10,000-capacity festival at Childerley Orchard, Cambridge from 18-19 September. Singer Miraa May and DJs Kenny Allstar and Cuppy are among the artists to have signed the pledge.

Founded in 2016 by Grammy award-winning songwriter Carla Marie Williams, GIR campaigns for equality and opportunities for women within the UK music and creative industries. GIR said this project will have a particular focus on black girls and women in the UK, the Caribbean, and Africa.

The GIR 50:50 Pledge supports Keychange – a movement supported by Creative Europe to champion and support women and gender minorities in the music industry. GIR said all signatories acquired from the pledge will be collated in 2024 to show tangible progress across the industry.

S&C co-founder Preye Crooks met Williams via his work at Columbia Records, and then connected GIR with the festival team.

Crooks said, “As a growing festival with a close-knit team, it’s paramount to us that we use the platform we have to address issues in our society where we can. Championing gender equality, and supporting the best and brightest talent in the business, are both values we hold close – so alongside GIR, we wanted to take a visible and conscious stand.

“We’re delighted to have a gender-balanced line-up this year, and we will be working with GIR to do what we can to support gender equality and diversity, and empower women in the music industry.”

Williams said“Every year we see a disproportionate number of men being announced on festival line-ups, and change has been happening very slowly. We are thrilled to have the support of Strawberries & Creem, the first festival to sign our GIR 50:50 Pledge and show that it is totally possible to make it happen in 2021.

“We are hopeful that many more festivals will follow and help us achieve our pledge to create the equal opportunities that women deserve in the music industry.”