Festival boss launches ReBalance scheme to get more girls into music industry

Leeds Festival delay plans for illegal drug testing facilities on site

Festival boss launches ReBalance scheme to get more girls into music industry

As well as providing studio time and access to a sound engineer, Festival Republic will also cover travel and accommodation costs, and will commit to offer participating artists a slot at a relevant Live Nation-owned festival.

There will be two chosen apprentices over the three-year programme.

Women represent about 16% of United Kingdom songwriters and composers and there is a lack of women in other industry roles according to the PRS Foundation musical charity that is involved in the new venture.

During the first 18 months they will work with engineers in-house at Old Chapel Music Studio in Leeds and during the second 18 months they will be lead/co-engineers on the project. It cites engineering specifically as being "viewed as an nearly entirely closed shop".

"It's a wider issue that involves us [the live industry] but the solution doesn't rest only with us. I have chose to be proactive in working towards this no longer being an issue in the future, and that's what this project is about".

"ReBalance will enable future, and current female musicians to have the support they need in order to be recognised".

"I'm delighted that Festival Republic are responding to this by offering new opportunities which will support female artists alongside younger women who want to develop skills in music production and sound engineering".

Benn said yesterday: "There is a significant lack of female acts with recording contracts and, indeed, airplay".

Leeds Festival delay plans for illegal drug testing facilities on site
The scheme is being run by charity The Loop

Melvin Benn of Festival Republic claims "sufficient support from Leeds City Council" had not been received, but added something may be able to be done in the future.

"This is a project that gives a step up from start to finish". A selection panel of musicians, journalists, booking agents, label bosses and more will then shortlist and select the successful acts. The selection panel will change over the year in line with availability and demand.

Vanessa Reed, CEO of PRS Foundation added: "The evaluation of our Women Make Music fund highlighted the ongoing challenges for female artists whilst also drawing attention to the lack of women working in other industry roles including the recording studio".

"But something needs to be done about gender equality in the music industry".

ReBalance aims to strengthen "the talent pipeline" and give female artists and engineers new routes into the industry. Let's face it, guitar music is male-dominated and it seems like the wider music industry is hardwired towards men - even the fact that people often feel they have to refer to our band as being "female-fronted" feels wrong (who ever referred to Arctic Monkeys as a "male-fronted" band?!).

"We look forward to helping Festival Republic to deliver this important and exciting programme and to following the results of the monthly studio sessions planned".

Chris Guerin, Chair of Leeds Music Trust said: "This is a wonderful initiative and all of us at Leeds Music Trust are really excited and proud to be a part of this fantastic and much needed programme".

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