With Tone Deaf reader’s favourite Aussie music festival Laneway coming to a close yesterday in Fremantle, it’s fair to say that punters around the nation are feeling more than satisfied after their day out watching some of the globe’s finest musical talent perform, and something we found particularly positive of the festival was the spread of gender equality in the billed performers.

The point of gender equality has been a point of contention in Aussie music publication’s headlines, most recently with Triple J’s Hottest 100, which saw this year’s almighty countdown feature 25 percent of female or female-inclusive groups, not a statistic to write home about, but decent.

Alongside this figure, we took a look at the lineups of other major Aussie music festivals including Meredith, Falls, Bluesfest, Splendour In The Grass and Groovin The Moo, comparing their male to female performance ratio which varied between 17 – 33 percent.

These results, plus additional points below, showed that Laneway demonstrated the strongest representation of females performing at Australian music festivals, potentially opening the doors for more incredible female artists to take to Aussie stages in the future.

Over Half Of  The Headlining Performers Were Female

Taking a look at the set times of the festival over its couple weeks of operation saw a brilliant representation of female and female-fronted artists perform in the (arguably) the busiest time of the day, from 7pm-onward Melbourne in particular saw a stunning 55 percent of the total acts playing were female, with the likes of St. Vincent (who just won a Grammy for Best Alternative Album), Banks, Little Dragon and FKA twigs playing late sets at each instalment of the festival.

We compared these set time allocations to those of Falls, Splendour In The Grass and Meredith which at best only saw 26 percent of female artists perform after 7pm, the festivals proving to be a much more male-dominated headline slot.

It Was A Cocktail Of Genres

True to form, Laneway Festival’s lineup for the year was eclectic, offering a little something for just about all live music lovers, with each female performer providing the genre representation a healthy shake-up.

From the art rock shredder that is St. Vincent, to the fists of noise punk fury of Perfect Pussy, the hiphop beats from rising homegrown star Tkay Maidza (who notably replaced Lykke Li), Angel Olsen’s country-stained low-fi rock, FKA twigs’ unforgettable RnB, the infectious electro brilliance of Little Dragon and Banks’ RnB fused pop to name a very short few, Laneway’s palette of music was expansive courtesy of female performers.

Majority Of The Unearthed Artists Were Females, Too!

Yes, there was certainly a healthy list of headlining female artists at this year’s festival, but there was also a dominance of females for the Triple J Unearthed allocation for each Aussie city, too.

In case you didn’t know, Triple J in tandem with Laneway allow for an up-and-coming Australian artist to open a stage in their local major city, and this year three out of the five selected were female or female fronted.

Female-dominate Joy., the Dianas and I Know Leopard all charmed hearts bright and early in Brisbane, Fremantle and Sydney respectively, whilst Milwaukee Banks and Sparkspitter killed it in Melbourne and Adelaide.

Laneway Has Continually Booked Female Artists

Since shifting from the alleyways of Melbourne, Laneway Festival has unquestionably grown to one of the nation’s most treasured music festivals, and with its expansion of location saw too its expansion capability of the lineup.

In this, Laneway has never been shy of selecting female musicians to perform, last year’s day out saw the likes of Lorde, Haim, The Jezabels and CHVRCHES headline the event, not to mention the memorable performances of Feist, Bat For Lashes, Kimbra, Florence & The Machine, The XX in years previous.

There’s Always Room For Improvement

Of course these different statistics are impressive and sees Laneway continuing toward a harmonious mix of both male and female artists, however there are still missing elements.

The lineup was peppered with a stunning array of both local and international electronic-based producers, with the likes of Jon Hopkins absolutely blowing minds with his ambient meets house beats, however it would be great to see a female producer score a position on a Laneway lineup in the future.

It’s a no brainer that music festival lineups should be based on merit not on gender, although it does seem in the past that more than worthy female artists have been overlooked by media, radio and music festivals, the positive trend that Laneway has forged may see the tide turn and female musicians could be seeing the recognition that they deserve.

Besides, 2015 is looking to be a very promising year for female musicians at Australian music festivals, the aforementioned Groovin The Moo having generated the best male to female performance ratio at 33 percent, we can’t wait to see what the remainder of the major festivals have in store for the year ahead.

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