Not Enough Female Artists At Coachella?
Everyone is saying that Coachella 2016 lineup features more female artists than previously… may be, I don’t keep track of these things but many papers and blogs everywhere seem to be amazed that we have on the same bill, Grimes, Sia, Ellie Goulding, the Kills, Courtney Barnett, Savages, Meg Myers and a few others,… why? All these women are accomplished and successful musicians and when you look at the quantity of bands playing, it’s not that impressive. Why are we still surprised to see several female bands playing at the same festival, the large majority are male and we don’t even notice it!
On the other hand, other publications have noticed that none of the 3 headliners (LCD Soundsystem, Guns N’ Roses, Calvin Harris) is close to be female. Last year, we had Drake, AC/DC, and Jack White and the year before Outkast, Muse, and Arcade Fire, which was a small progress considering there are two females in Arcade Fire… But, according to Billboard, Coachella hasn’t had a female solo act headline since Bjork in 2007,… this can’t be a very good thing.
Billboard asks a legitimate question, why don’t we see female artists with super star power such as Taylor Swift, Beyonce, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Katy Perry headlining one of the three Coachella days? At least, we have it covered for Swift… the girl just doesn’t do festivals because she is way too successful alone, too centered on herself and she would not take any risk:
‘I just focused on [the 1989] tour. It’s amazing to be able to play to a festival-sized audience who all bought tickets just to see the show, everybody in the audience knowing the words to every single song. It’s kind of magical.’ She declared in an interview…
The Taylor-Swift-Beyonce-Katy-Perry-Rihanna crowd is just too big for festivals, and so what’s left? Ellie Goulding, Lana Del Rey or Sia, who are simply not big enough to be headliners. It seems there’s no in between among female artists, they are either too superstars or second-line-on-Coachella-poster. And I don’t think the Coachella crowd would be ready for a Carrie Underwood or another big country female artists… What about Madonna or MIA? Too old or too controversial?
I have no idea why there still is such a gender gap among headliners, it probably reflects our society, there’s certainly nothing new and this doesn’t apply only to Coachella. It’s true for all music festivals where males are overwhelmingly represented. And what is the biggest irony in all this? Fifty-five percent of art and music festival attendees are female, according to the National Endowment for the Arts… which in fact could be part of the explanation because most females want to see males on stage, not females.