Last week’s announcement of the inaugural Spilt Milk lineup spurred cheers around the country, particularly from those living in Canberra. The lineup was huge, featuring the likes of Violent Soho, Sticky Fingers, Flume, and more.
However, not everybody was happy with the job organisers did with curating their first-round lineup. Some, including more than one triple j affiliate, have criticised the fact that the lineup of 16 acts features just one female.
Indeed, swiftly rising singer and songwriter Vera Blue is the only female artist among what is otherwise an exclusively male lineup. It’s not the first time in recent memory that festival organisers have been criticised for under-representing female acts.
Spilt Milk’s organisers, a team of four female live music promoters, have copped flack on social media, as well as from triple j presenter KLP. As The Vine reports, the singer, DJ, and broadcaster took to Twitter to air her grievances.
“Am I reading this right? 1 female? The young girl in me is feeling so uninspired to try be a musician in bro-town,” she wrote in response to triple j’s own report. triple j veteran Nina Las Vegas backed up her sentiment, responding to her tweet with, “lol so backwards“.
“It’s such an exciting time for females in music, especially here in Australia, so when the people with the booking power fail to take that opportunity to showcase some deserving women on their line-ups, it’s a real shame,” KLP told The Vine.
triple j have previously acknowledged their own issues with gender parity, demonstrating a great deal of transparency in sharing the share of airtime that goes to male and female acts, as well as addressing female under-representation in the Hottest 100.
Spilt Milk organisers Kicks Entertainment have addressed the criticism in a statement given to Music Feeds, assuring fans that the festival’s second round lineup will feature more female acts and acknowledging the issue of female representation in the music industry.
Am I reading this right? 1 female? 😑 The young girl in me is feeling so uninspired to try be a musician in bro-town https://t.co/UIlKWaUlsB
— KLP (@klpmusic) June 9, 2016
lol so backwards https://t.co/18dSmgPvOc
— Nina Las Vegas (@ninalasvegas) June 9, 2016
“Opportunities for female artists in the music industry ARE less than those for men. We have an opportunity to do something and that is what we are doing with our second round announcement this week,” organisers write.
“Expect to see announced more female artists that we are really excited to have as part of Spilt Milk; some of whom we had booked prior to our first announcement, some of whom we were considering booking and now have, and some of whom we discovered and booked as a result of the discussion around this issue.”
“Gender inequality exists throughout society and we all have an obligation to help foster change, an opportunity we missed with our initial announcement.”
“Our focus was assembling a line up that represented our musical vision for Spilt Milk, and that did include a much larger number of female artists who were unfortunately unavailable or unable to confirm by the deadline for the first announcement.”
“That said, we needed to give more deserved consideration to the under-representation of female artists on the line up, something we have made a conscious effort to improve as you will see in our second announcement this week.”
“Assembling exciting line ups for events of this nature is incredibly complex, with many different, and often competing, contributing factors.”
“With our growing understanding of this issue, and recognising that every small step matters, we are committed to delivering more opportunities for female artists to help move the industry in the right direction.”
“To the people using hateful, bigoted, sexist and misogynistic comments online, you have no place at our event,” organisers say. If you can’t respect that this is a complex issue that must be discussed with respect to all opinions, then you should re consider attending Spilt Milk.”
“Your negative attitude has absolutely no place at our event and your money might be better spent on education.” The second round lineup announcement for Spilt Milk is due to be released later this week.
Spilt Milk 2016
Gang of Youths
Hot Dub Time Machine
L D R U
￼￼￼￼￼￼￼Tickets on sale at 9am Thursday, 16th June
Saturday, 3rd December 2016
Commonwealth Park, Canberra
Tickets: Spilt Milk