Danish music festival to guarantee 50 percent female lineup

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Danish music festival to guarantee 50 percent female lineup
Sinead O'Connor plating at the Tønder Festival in 2013. Photo: Casper Dalhoff/AP/POLFOTO/arkiv/Ritzau Scanpix

The Tønder Festival says it will ensure 50 percent of its performers in future are female.


Last year, around 40 percent of the lineup was female at the folk music event in the South Jutland town, DR writes.

That proportion will soon become a 50-50 balance, according to organizers, who have announced the festival’s participation in the international Keychange programme, which seeks to increase the number of female artists on festival stages.

“We already have many women on stage at Tønder, and we naturally want to continue that. It’s a natural choice for us to support the Keychange project,” Tønder Festival artistic leader Maria Theessink said.

By aligning itself with Keychange, Tønder Festival pledges to reach a distribution of 50 percent female and 50 percent male artists on its programme by 2022.

Around 150 international festivals are part of the project, which is led by NGO PRS Foundation, with the support of the European Union’s Creative Europe programme.

Spanish festival Primavera was reported earlier this month to have booked equal numbers of men and women for its 2019 edition, which will take place in May.

Danish festivals have in the past been criticized for having too few female singers and bands on their lineups. In 2018, 27 percent of the artists at the Roskilde Festival were female, while at NorthSide that figure was just 12 percent, according to a DR count.

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