In future The 1975 will only accept festival bookings if there are at least 50% women or non binary performers on the lineup. The band’s frontperson Matty Healy tweeted the commitment in response to the male-dominated Reading & Leeds lineup.
It’s genuinely difficult to locate women or genderqueer artists on the Reading & Leeds poster. Stormzy, Liam Gallagher and Rage Against the Machine will headline. Migos, Gerry Cinnamon, Courteeners, Run the Jewels and Two Door Cinema Club are among the other big names. All up, just 20 of 91 acts feature women in their ranks.
This Y-chromosome dominance prompted The Guardian journalist Laura Snapes to tweet that promoter Melvin Benn conclusively “doesn’t give a shit about representation.” Healy agreed with the tweet, while also admitting RATM is a boon for the festival.
“Rage would be a dope booking if they used their leverage to demand equality on the bill,” Snapes wrote in reply. She then challenged Healy to make it so The 1975 “only play festivals that commit to X% (ideally 50%!) acts that include women and non binary performers.”
do it MH, add a condition to your rider that says you’ll only play festivals that commit to X% (ideally 50%!) acts that include women and non binary performers
— Laura Snapes (@laurasnapes) February 11, 2020
Healy has long been determined to stand for something beyond just being a new-romantic heartthrob. A recent example is the inclusion of Greta Thunberg calling for civil disobedience as the opening track from The 1975’s upcoming Notes on a Conditional Form.
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So, half an hour later he was ready to make the commitment. “Take this as me signing this contract,” Healy wrote. “I have agreed to some festivals already that may not adhere to this and I would never let fans down who already have tickets. But from now I will and believe this is how male artist can be true allies.”
The 1975’s fourth album, Notes on a Conditional Form, will be out in April 2020. The music video for ‘Me & You Together Song’ premiered last week, taking us back to a time of fluoro colours, baggy trousers and hair gel.