TRNSMT boss: Festivals have 'a long way to go' on gender balance

Wolf Alice
Image caption,
Wolf Alice are performing at this year's TRNSMT festival

The organiser of TRNSMT has told Newsbeat there's "a long way to go" with gender balance across festival line-ups.

Geoff Ellis says most festival promoters have been trying to "redress a balance".

"We do have strong female representation across the line-up but we're committed to doing more."

This year's TRNSMT includes The Stereophonics, Liam Gallagher and Arctic Monkeys as headliners.

Image caption,
Arctic Monkeys are headlining TRNSMT on Sunday 1 July on Glasgow Green

TRNSMT - in its second year - is put on by the same people who run T In The Park.

Last year, a BBC study discovered that 80% of festival headliners were male.

Overall, female acts made up 26% of UK festival line-ups in 2017.

Some of the UK's biggest festivals including Glastonbury and Bestival have now backed a pledge to achieve a 50/50 gender balance by 2022.

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Jessie J is among the artists playing TRNSMT

TRNSMT is yet to sign up to the campaign.

"I don't want to put a date on it because I think it then becomes forced," says Geoff Ellis.

"A large portion of our artists are female but it's not 50/50.

"Hopefully we'll have a strong balance next year and we're all working towards having a greater balance.

Geoff says there's a need for more female artists to come through but says "not every female artist who would work at a festival like TRNSMT is necessarily available each year".

Image caption,
Lauren from Chrvches recently donated money to a Glasgow music school to encourage women to perform

This year's TRNSMT line up is male-heavy. But female-led acts like Wolf Alice, Chrvches, Pale Waves, Sigrid and Jessie J are quite high up the bill on their respective stages.

The festival's dance stage features predominantly female DJs.

"We've got to push it and not use women as a token," says Laura Hayden, the singer in Anertos who are on the festival's second biggest stage, King Tut's.

Image source, Distiller Music
Image caption,

"I think for a long time girls have been dismissed from music. It's something that happens from when you're a kid. You just don't get given that chance.

"It's good to see more and more girls in music and having the courage to step up and do this."

She continues: "You get people saying 'it's a great time to be in a female fronted band', but that's not a genre.

"All you can do is get up on stage and be fearless."

Image caption,
Heather's band Pale Waves also played on the King Tut's stage

Pale Waves singer Heather Baron-Gracie adds: "The music industry's just a sausage fest all the time. I'm surprised every time I see a woman.

"Schools and colleges need to encourage girls to get involved more.

"It's so heavily dominated by men that women might shy away from it."

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Paigey Cakey will perform on the all-female stage at Wireless

Geoff Ellis agrees that the music industry could do more to encourage women.

"We've got to make the culture easier for female artists to come through."

His comments come shortly after Wireless Festival revealed to Newsbeat that it will host an all-female stage at this year's event after criticism over the lack of women on its original line-up.

Follow Newsbeat on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Listen to Newsbeat live at 12:45 and 17:45 every weekday on BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra - if you miss us you can listen back here.