What is Keychange?
Keychange is an international campaign which invests in emerging female talent whilst encouraging festivals to sign up to a 50:50 gender balance pledge by 2022. Keychange is led by PRS Foundation, supported by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union, in partnership with Musikcentrum Öst, Reeperbahn Festival, Iceland Airwaves, BIME, Tallinn Music Week, Way Out West, The Great Escape and Mutek.
How did Keychange come about?
- It began as a European talent development programme for female artists and innovators led by PRS Foundation
- The 50:50 pledge was proposed by Keychange festival partners who wanted to show they are serious in their commitment to gender equality in addition to offering showcasing opportunities to female talent.
- Since then festivals from all over the world have signed up to the pledge making Keychange a movement for positive change.
Why is the target set for 2022?
- We started Keychange towards the end of 2017 so this pledge was established as a 5 year framework for change.
- Keychange is the first collective approach to tackling gender equality at festivals, so we’re starting with specific, measured steps, shaped by the festivals themselves which give everyone a chance of making tangible progress and creating realistic long term change.
- We think 2022 is an ambitious but achievable target with time for change year on year rather than suddenly.
What’s the current gender balance across live music festivals?
- In the UK in 2017, women made up 26% of the line-up in a sample of large music festivals and less than 10% of headliners in a survey conducted in the US.
- In our Keychange network some festivals are further away from the target than others. Some are leading with way with having already achieved a 50:50 balance and are using Keychange as an opportunity to promote how they’ve reached this target.
What do you mean by 50:50?
- The festivals are making a gender balance commitment which makes sense to their own event, programme and music genre e.g. major classical events like BBC Proms and Aldeburgh Festivals are looking at the number of female composers they commission, popular music festivals are looking at the number of women on their stages and industry showcases are also looking at their conference panels.
- 50:50 in line-ups of popular music festivals will be measured with any act featuring a self-identifying woman counting towards the final figure.
- We strongly believe that the target needs to be defined and owned by the festivals themselves and we will collate data annually to help measure progress.
Does 50:50 mean even balance of headliners?
- Our priority in this first phase is to ensure that 50% of acts programmed include at least one woman. Many of the festivals are going further than this but we want this first target to be achievable and to encourage everyone who’s working on this together to be thinking about long term change.
What if one year a festival’s programme is more balanced than another year between now and 2022?
- Some festivals will be aiming for an average 50-50 over the 4 years as their line-ups naturally fluctuate around the 50% mark.
Why aren’t you demanding exactly the same data from everyone?
- Because every festival is different and conferences, jazz festivals, commercial festivals and more have control over different parts of their festivals. We are aiming to improve the number of women partaking in festivals at every level rather than focussing on shaming festivals that haven’t committed to enough.
How do we go about collecting all of this data?
- All of the Keychange festivals are signing a pledge and providing data through a central database which we will keep track of over the next 4 years.
- The momentum building around gender equality across the creative industries at the moment gives us a great opportunity to start pushing for real change.
- There’s much more recognition of the imbalance than there was before. That was the first step in this journey; now it’s about promoting role models and encouraging the next generation of younger women to make music and consider the creative industries for their career and people in positions of influence using their status to promote change.
What next for the Keychange programme?
- Between now and March 2019 we will continue to run our Keychange talent development programme with 60 female artists and innovators from 6 European countries.
- Meanwhile, Keychange partners are encouraging more festivals join the gender equality pledge in order to create sustainable change in the music industry and to show that it is possible for festivals to successfully achieve this balance.
What happens after 2022?
- Based on the interest so far, this looks like it’s a programme that will build momentum over time and will last as long as it takes.
- We’ll use the data we gather and the feedback from the participating festivals to guide any further steps the programme might take, whether that’s continuing to focus on festivals or other areas of the music industry.
- Success will be the moment when Keychange isn’t needed any more, but until then we will do what we can to promote positive action in the music industry.
Why is Keychange needed?
- Representation of women in the music industry remains very low in all European countries. Across the participating countries’ collecting societies, women represent 20% or less of registered composers and songwriters. Earnings for women are even lower and women are under-represented in leadership roles across the industry and on stages at festival programmes. Read more about the gender gap in music via the links below:
Victoria Derbyshire (from 1:46:10)
Music Week – Keychange Announcement
International Arts Manager – Keychange Announcement
Festival Flyer – Keychange Announcement
Women in Music Blog – Keychange Announcement
CMU – Keychange Announcement
Record of the Day – Keychange Announcement
M Magazine – Keychange Announcement
Festival Insights – Keychange Announcement
Access All Areas – Keychange Announcement
Silent Radio – Keychange Announcement
Data Transmission – Keychange Announcement
Stern – Reeperbahn Panel Review
Kultur Port – Reeperbahn Preview
Mopo – Alexa Feser Keychange Interview
Ziet – Reeperbahn Preview
Hamburger Abendblatt – Reeperbahn Review
Deutschlandfunk – Reeperbahn Review
Radio Sweden – Iman Interview
GP – Gnucci Interview
P5 – Iman Interview
Musik Industrin – Keychange Launch