Ladies, Let Me Hear You Scream // Inequality for Women in the Music Industry

“I used to play monthly at a pub. But all of a sudden I stopped getting booked there. For more than a year afterwards, when I visited this pub and saw the monthly poster for who was playing, every single booked artist was a man.”
You would think that in the 21st century, stories like this one from a local Newcastle singer/songwriter would be nothing but tales from a past world that didn’t have its head screwed on straight. Unfortunately, incidents like this are still very much present.

“I’ve had a few blokes who have certainly made me feel belittled (particularly DJs who rock up to take over as I’m nearing my finish), however, I’m not sure if that’s because I’m female, an acoustic artist or for other reasons.”
While certainly an issue of the past, Gaye Sheather, academic and former musician, not only found herself running into the roadblocks of being a female artist as a musician in the 80s, [AG1] 
“There were bouncers at some clubs that thought I was just carrying my boyfriend's microphone into the venue to get in for free. I have read a lot about women in the rock music world, and it certainly was the case that many of them were discriminated against when they were seriously trying to make a name for themselves in what was very much a man's domain.”
Taking a look at the Cambridge Hotel’s upcoming shows at the time of writing this (May, 2017), out of the 20 artists on the lineup, only four were female artists. Of the 45 acts to feature on the latest Groovin the Moo lineup in Maitland, 11 included female talent. Out of the 15 acts at last year’s Live at the Foreshore event, only one was female, and the same stands true for This That Festival, of which six of the 24 acts were women.
What these figures represent is an ongoing issue society is no stranger to. Women struggle to fight for equality in many sectors of the community, and one of those includes the music industry. The statistics we are seeing here in the Newcastle area are a reflection of what is happening on a national scale.
Discussion around this issue most recently came to the forefront on International Women’s Day. Triple J carried out their annual Girls To The Front investigation, and highlighted the issue on their daily Hack program. Research undertaken by the program uncovered some eye-opening facts. Of all the payments made to the Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) artists in 2016, 78% went to males and only 21% went to females. Of all the new artists who joined APRA in 2016, 72% were male and only 25% were female. Also take a look at the 2016 Billboard’s Power 100 List; only 11 women made it on the list and only one made it into the top fifty.
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What's your opinion?

  1. Interesting read! I haven't had too many issues with inequality as a musician, but I can see how it is an issue

    Laura || xx

  2. So disappointing to see this still happening!

  3. That sucks it happens! Great read

  4. So frustrating to learn this! Hopefully the industry will do something about it.

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