New Festivals include Annie Mac Presents Lost & Found Festival (Malta), EFG London Jazz Festival, MUSEXPO (USA) & Cambridge Folk Festival, taking total number of Keychange festivals to 85

Jayne Casey to receive the Keychange Inspiration Award

PRS Foundation will host a Keychange event at Liverpool Sound City tomorrow (4th May 2018) to announce that a further 40 festivals will be joining the pioneering Keychange pledge to achieve or maintain a 50/50 gender balance across their festivals by 2022 (including live line-ups, conferences and commissions).

In addition to this, a Keychange Inspiration Award will be presented to music and arts pioneer Jayne Casey best known for her involvement in the Liverpool punk and new wave scene in the 1970s and 1980s, with Big in Japan, Pink Military and Pink Industry.

The 40 new festivals joining the Keychange pledge are:

AMP Lost & Found (Malta) / AIM Music Connected and Indie Con (UK) / Alínæ Lumr (Germany) / Bestival (UK) / Black Deer Festival (UK) / Brainchild Festival (UK) / Brighton Music Conference (UK) / B-Sides Festival (Switzerland) / Bushstock (UK) / Cambridge Folk Festival (UK) / Camp Wavelength (Canada) / Celtic Connections (UK) / EFG London Jazz Festival (UK) / Fjellparkfestivalen (Norway) / Folk Alliance International (USA) / Folk On The Dock (UK) / Glasgow International Jazz Festival (UK) / Halifax Pop Explosion (Canada) / Hull Jazz Festival (UK) / Jazzkaar (Estonia) / Jeunes Talents (France) / Looe Music Festival (UK) / Lisbon International Music Network (Portugal) / Live At Heart (Sweden) / Long Division Festival (UK) / MUSEXPO (USA) / New Music Biennial (UK) / Northern Lights Festival Boréal (Canada) / Nova Scotia Music Week (Canada) / Pete The Monkey (France) / Philadelphia Folk Festival (USA) / Relevance Festival (Denmark) / Riverfest Elora (Canada) / Sørveiv (Norway) / Subtropikal Festival (Brasil) / Unconference (UK) / VUT Indie Days (Germany) / Wavelength Winter Festival (Canada) / Wood Festival (UK) / XpoNorth (UK)

This follows the gender balance commitment made in February 2018 by 45 international music festivals and conferences including existing Keychange partners Reeperbahn Festival (Germany), BIME (Spain), Iceland Airwaves, Way Out West (Sweden), Musikcentrum Sweden, Tallinn Music Week (Estonia), and MUTEK (Canada) and new UK Keychange festival partner Liverpool Sound City. For more information on Keychange please visit here.

Vanessa Reed, CEO of PRS Foundation, said: “We’re thrilled that Liverpool Sound City has joined the Keychange partnership and is hosting an event which celebrates the fact that another 40 festivals have joined since we launched at Canada House a few months ago. It’s been hugely encouraging to hear from such a broad range of independent music events who recognise the benefits of championing more female artists across their stages. Congratulations also to arts and music pioneer, Jayne Casey, our latest Keychange Inspiration award winner. I’m sure that the industry innovators and artists we’re supporting through the Keychange talent development programme will be inspired by people like Jayne. She demonstrated the importance of women’s contribution to music at a time when the gender gap was even greater than it is now.”

Rebecca Stewart of Cambridge Folk Festival added: “Cambridge Folk Festival is delighted to be part of the Keychange initiative, especially as we currently aim for a 50:50 balance on the line-up and have done so for a number of years. We want to be held up as a shining example that this is possible and that if a Folk Festival can do it, then others can too. We hope it will inspire women to expect to be up there with the best and to keep fighting. And, as we are predominately a female managed festival, we want to show that women are as successful behind the scenes as well.”

On presenting the Keychange Inspiration award to Jayne Casey, Becky Ayres, Chief Operating Officer of Liverpool Sound City, said: “Jayne Casey is a true unsung hero, a rebel and auteur who has pioneered musical and cultural change in the North for decades and has been behind some of the biggest phenomena in recent times, such as Eric’s and Cream. She was one of the only, if not the only woman in Liverpool creating and curating amazing art in a landscape dominated by men for so many years and she is inspiring to me not only for what she has achieved, but for her incredible passion and the fact that she always looks forward and embraces every generation and the zeitgeist that comes forward. We’re really lucky to have her in Liverpool to look up to.”

Keychange will also be represented at Canadian Music Week, with PRS Foundation and the Ontario Media Development Corporation presenting a showcase of Keychange artists, and Vanessa Reed participating in a Global Forum with Dr. Stacy Smith of the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, who pioneered the now viral concept of an “inclusion rider.”

In February, Keychange sparked international debate, announcing that 45 international music industry conferences and festivals including four leading Canadian events had made a pledge towards achieving or maintaining a 50/50 gender balance across their festivals by 2022.

Festivals are making a commitment relative to their own event, engaging with the gender balance pledge in a way that best makes sense to their programme and music genre, including through line-ups, conference panels or commissions.

To date, the Keychange programme has included a series of popular panels and showcases at Reeperbahn Festival, BIME, Iceland Airwaves, Eurosonic and most recently Tallinn Music Week, where Keychange brought together all of the 60-strong network of Keychange artists and innovators from across Europe for a series of showcases, workshops and discussions on how to accelerate change within the industry.

These panels have featured leading men and women including Garbage’s Shirley Manson, artist Nadine Shah, Reeperbahn Festival director Alex Schulz, President of Iceland Guðni Thorlacius Jóhannesson, PRS Foundation CEO Vanessa Reed and more.

Quotes from the festivals joining Keychange

“VUT – the German Association of Independent Music Companies is proud to be associate partner of Keychange. We founded the network Music Industry Women in 2015 with the goal to raise awareness for gender equality in the music industry and to do our part to change the industry. We want more women to be founders of music businesses, take up leadership positions, give role models a stage and establish a place for networking. So we started a mentorship program, hosted panels and get-togethers at VUT´s Indie Days and started working towards a balanced conference program in 2016. We were sure that there must be many amazing women out there, who we just needed to ask to join our panels and workshops. And we were right! Therefore, let´s work together on an European level to tackle gender inequality.“ – Désirée Vach, Chairwoman, VUT

“We became aware of this initiative through our ongoing work with the PRS Foundation. I knew that jazz had traditionally been male-orientated, but I’d always thought that J-Night and the Hull Jazz Festival were pretty progressive around working with women. I was shocked to find that just over 50% of our acts featured during 2017 featured no women whatsoever in their line-ups. It seems a pretty obvious decision to try and rectify that and our board are pleased to sign our pledge to Keychange.” – David Porter, Hull Jazz Festival

“We are committed to championing the Keychange initiative to provide a public platform for women to share their music and to achieve a 50:50 balance of female to male performers by 2022. The festival attracts around 90,000 visitors over three days and in just our third year we are proud that we have already reached a 42% balance of females to male artistes at Folk On The Dock, so we are well on our way to effecting this change.” – Marina Blore, Executive Producer, Folk on the Dock

“It takes intentional effort, publicly-stated commitments, and processes for accountability to ensure the right thing is done and that efforts towards equity are more than ceremonial. Gender equity as a standard for programming and leadership is long overdue in the music industry. At the same time, it is only one of many issues of access and inclusion that we need to tackle collectively. Folk Alliance International is proud to formally commit to reaching the critical goal of equity across all measures, and in the process, contribute to a sea-change that recalibrates industry standards.” – Aengus Finnan, Executive Director, Folk Alliance International

“After years of hearing that ‘…folk music is mainly white and male-dominated…’, we were determined to break the past talent buying trends and move decidedly toward gender balance and inclusion, and curate with a focus on more women artists, and more world music and international performers”, said Lisa Schwartz, Festival and Programming Director for the legendary Philadelphia Folk Festival. “We will continue to strive for 50:50 gender balance in our programming, so I am honored to take the Keychange Pledge to announce our intentions to the music world and sincerely hope that other festivals will follow suit. There is no shortage of fabulous female created music to present to our audience.” – Lisa Schwartz, Festival and Programming Director Philadelphia Folk Festival

“Glasgow Jazz Festival is delighted to be involved in Keychange. We are very proud of our commitment and achievement to date. We are on our way there with a 44/56 split this year and hope to inspire others to join in with this fantastic initiative.” – Jill Rodger, Festival Director, Glasgow International Jazz Festival

“MIL – Lisbon International Music Network, as a festival and convention focused on spreading current music, is proud to be part of Keychange and to continue its mission of promoting and internationalising emergent artists and bands. Through a conscient and thoughtful curation of the lineup, both of the festival and convention, MIL intends to be not only the place of opportunity and equality for female artists but also to give voice to female professionals of the industry, raising awareness to the current discrepancies while trying to rectifying them.” – Teresa Pinheiro, Lisbon International Music Network

“It’s a privilege to sign up and pledge Black Deer to Keychange. We are 2 female Promoters and a huge amount of our team are females including our Booker Bev, Production Manager Emma, to name but a few. Good ol’ fashioned talent is vital to us and it’s up to us as Festival Promoters to ensure that talent is recognised both on and off the stage and making sure that that talent is both female and male – balance is essential in all area’s of life – we will make sure it happens at our festival this year and in the years to come” – Gill Tee and Debs Shilling, Black Deer Festival

“Northern Lights Festival Boréal prides itself on being an innovative, inclusive Canadian festival. That being said, we always strive to do better. We want our programming to reflect an equal gender balance and we are proud to have the Keychange initiative hold us accountable to that. It’s very inspiring to see so many big players coming together to create change. This is a major step for our industry to end gender inequality and we are excited to take part.” – Izzy Ahrbeck, Marketing Coordinator, Northern Lights Festival Boréal

“We strongly believe in the power of female role models and are committed to diversity in our programming since day one of our relatively young festival. The many amazing female artists out there need to come into the picture to ensure young women don’t grow up believing stages are only or mostly for male artists. Big as well as small adjustments to what has become commonplace need to be made. That’s why we’re proud to be part of this movement.“ – Laureen Kornemann, alínæ lumr Festival

“Looe Music Festival has always been committed to showcasing world-class music from different genres and cultures. It seems right that we also present our audiences with an equally diverse line-up in terms of gender. More than 44% of the bands performing at our event this year (2018) include female members and we pledge to increase this to 50% by 2022. We’re proud to support the Keychange initiative.” – Tanya Brittain, Festival director, Looe Music Festival

“With so many leading women artists and musicians to celebrate, we’re just very excited to be part of Keychange and get going! It’s something we’ve always had in our minds but being part of this drive is going to push it to the front of our attention in programming and commissioning. Thanks to Keychange I think the festival industry will look very different in a few years and be stronger for it.” – Marina Blake, Creative Director, Brainchild Festival

“Cambridge Folk Festival is delighted to be part of the Keychange initiative, especially as we currently aim for a 50:50 balance on the line-up and have done so for a number of years. This year we have gone further still and exceeded this by achieving 60:40. We want to be held up as a shining example that this is possible and that if a Folk Festival can do it, then others can to. We hope it will inspire women to expect to be up there with the best and to keep fighting. And, as we are predominately a female managed festival, we want to show that women are as successful behind the scenes as well.” – Rebecca Stewart, Cambridge Folk Festival

“In this day and age it is necessary to have an organization like Keychange to take the important subject matter of gender equality in the music business to a next level. A 50/50 gender balance at festivals should not be something unusual or exceptional, it should be absolutely normal. But until we get to that point, it’s important to have an international community stand up for equal rights in the music industry. The B-Sides Festival is proud to be part of this movement.” – Marcel Bieri, Co-Founder, B-Sides

“RELEVANCE FESTIVAL is all about using music and technology to build a better society. A better, forward-thinking society is an inclusive one, where everyone has a a chance to contribute. As such, we feel that gender equality needs to be encouraged in all aspects of our life, including, of course, music and art.” – Andrea Lonardo Martini, Managing Director, Relevance Festival
“The Keychange movement is a fantastic initiative, and we are so happy for the Unconference to be part of it. We have been actively working to achieve gender equality on our panels for the last few years, and it is great to be part of this supportive network across Europe and be able to help recognise the need to change, raise awareness and recognise the fantastic impact of showcasing a diverse range of incredible role models at our event for all our attendees.” – Samuel Nicholls, Curator, Unconference

“Pete the Monkey supports the initiative 100 pour cent!” – Rob Dumas, Co-Director, Pete The Monkey Festival

“It was really a no-brainer for Sørveiv to join the Keychange initiative. As a showcase-festival presenting young talent we are aware of our gatekeeping position and are resolved to act upon it responsibly. We have been focusing on creating a gender-balanced, diverse festival and conference for a few years and are excited to now be part of an international group of dedicated festivals working towards the same goals!” – Anna Willrodt, Head of Festival, Sørveiv

“Wavelength Music and Camp Wavelength are proud to sign on as an associate festival forKeychange, the pioneering international initiative to empower women by establishing a 50:50 gender balance on stage. Committed to gender equity, Wavelength has met and exceeded this ratio in our programming since 2016, supporting artists and ensembles led or co-led by women in creative roles.” – Jonathan Bunce, Artistic Director, Wavelength Music