At Reeperbahn Festival in Hamburg today (20th September 2018), PRS Foundation‘s international campaign, Keychange programme, awards the latest ‘Inspiration Award‘ to the musician and activist Bernadette La Hengst.

The Keychange Inspiration Award honours and celebrates female pioneers who have made an extraordinary contribution to music and are role models for the next generation and for the Keychange network of 60 talented female artists and industry professionals. Keychange partners select an Inspiration Award winner in each of their countries.

This German Keychange Inspiration award was presented by Alexander Schulz, CEO Reeperbahn Festival who said:

Motivate instead of lament! Bernadette La Hengst has been a role model for political and social commitment for years. Whether capitalism, climate change, integration policy, feminist discourse or everyday neoliberal madness – the musician and theatre-maker is never at a loss for critical words. She only proved this again at the beginning of September, when she provided the soundtrack for the 2018 autumn demo with her song “Wir sind die Vielen”. Thank you for your empowerment, Bernadette!”

Bernadette La Hengst said,

“Since the late 80ies I always hear the same arguments: There are no female musicians!  So how could we support them, if they are not around?  But surprisingly I was always surrounded by many female musicians, female sound engineers, female booking agents, female label managers or female music journalists, because I wanted to get to know them. If we got more women in every music sector, the change will follow, because networking leads to more visibility. That’s what men have been experiencing for thousands of years. The database MusicHHwomen is a good example for female empowerment and networking in the music industry. Especially on music festivals we need more visibility of female role models to inspire the next generation. We definitely need a keychange, from lamenting the lack to celebrating diversity. “

Vanessa Reed, CEO of PRS Foundation and founder of Keychange said:

“Huge congratulations to Bernadette La Hengst on winning our latest Keychange Inspiration Award. It’s crucial that we celebrate and raise awareness of trailblazing women like Bernadette who’s story – as artist and activist-  will inspire the next generation of female talent in Europe and beyond.”

Keychange is a pioneering international initiative which is empowering women to transform the future of the music industry and encouraging festivals to achieve a 50:50 balance by 2022. Keychange aims to accelerate change and create a better, more inclusive music industry for present and future generations.

Bernadette La Hengst is a musician and theatre-maker with a penchant for socio-political issues and utopian ideas. She was the founder of Hamburg beat-punk girl band Die Braut that rocked the 1990s and she has been described as the voice of German pop feminism.  Bernadette’s political interests have seen her work with marginal social groups, and raise awareness on how society deals with them, such as in her recent project with homeless people at the theatre in Freiburg.

Previous winners of the Keychange Inspiration Award include Popkollo! the music camp that takes place all around Sweden and is aimed at all girls and gender non-conforming people who love music, Jayne Casey, the music and arts pioneer, best known for the Liverpool punk and new wave scene in the 1970s and 1980s with Big in JapanPink Military and Pink Industry, Anne Erm for her role as Founder and Director of Tallinn International festival JazzKaar and the BRIT Award winning singer-songwriter Dua Lipa who was presented the inaugural Keychange Inspiration Award at the Canadian High Commission in London for her influence on young women and for being the most nominated female artist in the history of the BRIT Awards.