TRNSMT organisers criticised over lack of female acts

TRNSMT organisers are being urged to be an ‘organisation of the future’ following concerns about the lack of female headline acts at next month’s festival.

Glasgow was declared as being “back in business” at yesterday’s licensing committee as DF Concerts were given the green light to host the festival from September 10-12.

During the meeting councillor Rhiannon Spear raised concerns about the lack of gender balance from the organisation and urged DC Concerts not to “uphold the old boys music industry of the past.”

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Councillor Spear said: “On the first night, apart from the first two group acts, not one woman will take to the stage in the seven acts that follow.

“Over the three nights, there’s not one woman out of the two headline acts – headlining. I just think it is awful and it is a criticism that has been falling on DF Concerts time and time again.

“The response from DF has never really been good enough. We know that the world is changing and that the music industry is an old boys club. What is DF doing to respond to this?

“What schemes do they have within the organisation to bring young female artists up and do you have a plan to address the representation of women at your festivals.

“Please be an organisation of the future and don’t uphold the old boys club music industry of the past.”

DF Concerts’ representative agreed that concerns over gender balance have been an issue in the past and steps have been taken to try and address the issue.

Archie MacIver said: “This concern was raised two events ago. Last time around there was a stage called Queen Tut’s to promote female artists.

“Feedback following the event was interesting to say the least but it was not all negative. Some female artists felt that they were being patronised while others said it was a great idea.”

DF Concerts reviewed its position and decided to remove the Queen Tut’s stage and look at other ways to encourage women to take part in TRNSMT.

Mr MacIver added: “As far as the support stages are concerned, the split at this time is 55:45 male slanted but nonetheless a significant increase in the number of women performing.

“It is not for the want of trying to get women headlining on the main stage. There have been a number of difficulties. Covid has restricted the number of artists we can get this year and there is also the question of availability.”

Geoff Elis, CEO of DF Concerts, added: “I think the councillors comments in terms of optics are fair but in reality they are not.

“We promote the majority of female acts in Scotland. It’s not for the want of trying but there very few headliners full stop.

“The reality is there are far more male artists than there are women artists and that is something we will continue to look at. We want to address this as an industry, not just as a company.”