Because festivals aren’t just for the Arctic Monkeys
2018 has been the year that everybody, from the person who goes to Leeds Festival every year since 2001 to the top dogs in the music industry, have began to question the lack of diversity in music festivals.
During this dark time were women are being neglected by festival bookers, one woman is making her voice heard across the World and doing her bit to make sure women are not being the token ‘female musician at a festival’ and that their talent is being noticed. That woman? Dua Lipa obvs.
Dua Lipa – queen of rules, slayer of fuckboys, persistent wearer of adidas trainers – is doing more than just playing a few tracks at some sunny places abroad, she’s changing the way we think about women in the music festival department and why it’s time to let them shine. Dua’s got some new rules that you best start following…
Don’t think that music festivals are only for indie lads who swig a K cider and think they’re the next Liam Gallagher on stage. Music festivals home the best in independent music, perhaps those musicians who don’t get enough airtime on mainstream radio stations and we don’t blame them. But here’s the thing, music festivals don’t have to be all about the skinny jeans wearing, long haired boys in bands, it can be about any gender, regardless of what they sound like. It’s time music festivals started to consider diversity throughout the lineup, not just the headliners.
Those at Dua Lipa HQ know just that. Take a look through Dua’s diary: TRNSMT, Lollapalooza Paris, Mad Cool, Electric Picnic. You name it, Dua is probably there alongside all the traditional musicians who have headlined that festival more times than people have questioned whether Oasis will be doing a secret set. She’s not headlining but she’s performing and that’s something. For all the female musicians who have been ignored because they don’t ‘fit in’, Dua is performing for them, bringing her poptastic tunes to the bearded hipsters who are too embarrassed to groove along to decent music.
Don’t even get me started on the fact that she is playing festivals across the WORLD and not just that really expensive festival that nobody can afford to go to unless they take out a payday loan. Live in Yorkshire? She’s playing Leeds Festival. Live in Budapest? She’s playing Sziget Festival. Live in New York? She’s playing Panorama NYC. It’s not about promoting a new album or getting more fans, it’s about being able to get to your fans who can’t get to your gigs because they’re miles away.
Unlike *enter name of typical indie lad band*, Dua Lipa is out and about and she’s not for stopping, giving fans a chance to see her live no matter where they are. Playing at multiple festivals across the Globe allows fans to connect with one another as well as watching their favourite artist, knowing it didn’t cost you a lot of money. It’s all about the possibilities (queue the music).
Don’t you dare forget that Dua is a strong woman making her voice heard for the thousands of female musicians who can’t. Anti-Dua folk will complain that she’s not welcome at our exclusive, rock band only festival. Pro-Dua have the gift of seeing past that. Look at the festivals this year, how shambolic they are when it comes to offering diversity and something new and creative. Dua Lipa happily sits on the middle tier of the festival lineup posters, promoting that even if it’s not headline slot, it’s good enough. While a lot of festivals are too scared to offer women a voice and a major platform, they will allow women a small platform for them to kick start a movement like no other.
It’s time to see female musicians for what they are, musicians who deserve a podium to be heard on. Dua Lipa will happily take that small festival slot because she knows it will diversify the lineup, she’s not a token, she’s a machine who will one day be remembered for changing the way festival bookers view women. A revolution is starting and it’s about time.
Dua Lipa might not be your average festival performer but what’s that to say that she doesn’t deserve it? One woman performing at festivals across the World might not seem like a big deal at the moment but wait until after those performances and festival bookers start to realise that women musicians are just as strong, musical and talented as the rest of the performers.
Disagree? Well boy, I don’t give a fuck.
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Words by Brigid Harrison-Draper