Dorset

All-female HearHer Festival under way in Poole

KT Tunstall Image copyright Getty Images/Caitlin Mogridge
Image caption KT Tunstall has curated the Friday line-up

A music festival that claims to be presenting the UK's "only 100% female line up" has begun in Dorset.

HearHer, whose first day is curated by singer-songwriter KT Tunstall, aims to "diminish inequality and discrimination in the music industry".

Figures show more than 70% of performers at the biggest festivals in 2018 were all-male bands.

The indoor event takes place at Holton Heath near Poole from Friday until Sunday.

The three-day festival is also being headlined by Manchester synth-pop star Shura and Mercury-nominated songwriter SOAK.

"It is an enormous challenge to launch a new music festival, and with only approximately 19% of festival acts having a female member, vastly more challenging to do so with an all-female line up," said Tunstall.

"I am thrilled to be able to play my part in working towards gender equality on festival line-ups."

BBC research showed analysis of 756 acts advertised on the posters of nine festivals in 2018 found 77% were all-male.

Last year 45 UK festivals pledged to achieve a 50-50 gender balance by 2022, following criticism of male-dominated line-ups in music festivals.

Lily Allen and Radio 1 DJ Annie Mac earlier slammed the Wireless festival in London for only including three female artists.

HearHer Co-founder Heather Peace, said some festivals were making "strides forward", but the gender imbalance in others was "just laughable".

"We thought we'd make statement and do an all-female line-up and show how much talent there is out there and hopefully the bigger festivals will take a look and say 'Ok, fair play'," she said.

"It's time the major festivals realised that the gender imbalance just isn't good enough. There are brilliant women making music all over the world and not being heard," she said.

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