International electronic music network female:pressure releases FACTS Survey 2020 on International Women’s Day, March 8th, 2020. The survey quantifies the gender distribution of artists performing at electronic music festivals. This is the fourth edition of the FACTS Survey, which was first published in 2013, and updated in 2015 and 2017. The 2020 survey is available for download here: http://femalepressure.net/FACTS2020survey-by_femalepressure.pdf
Ireland launch and results
Four festivals from Ireland (Life, Boxed Off, Audio Garden, and Hotbox) with eleven festival editions from 2017 to 2019 are included in FACTS 2020, and this is the first time that data from Ireland will be represented internationally.
Excluding the acts whose gender could not be identified, between 2017 and 2019, the percentage of women performers at Audio Garden doubled, from 6.5% of 46 acts, to 13.3% of 45 acts. In 2017, 10.8% if the 37 acts at Boxed Off were women compared to 33.3% of 21 acts in 2019. Life moved from single digit to double digit figures, with women accounting for 9.9% of 131 acts in 2017, compared to 16.5% of 97 acts in 2019. Boxed Off has shown the greatest change, with close to one third of its 2019 line up being occupied by women performers, compared to a little over 10% in 2017. The only festival which has moved in a different direction is Hotbox, with just 4% of the 50 acts booked in the 2019 edition being women, compared to 7.3% of the 55 acts in the previous year.
The FACTS 2020 Ireland Launch will took place on Sunday 8 March, at The Sound House, Eden Quay, Dublin, from 7-9pm. The event took place alongside the launch of FACTS internationally and presented the results of the survey with a focus on Ireland’s data. An industry panel will explored the topic of gender representation at electronic music festivals, and the event will closed with a networking session. The FACTS 2020 Ireland Launch is funded by IMRO. The panel hosted Angela Dorgan, CEO of First Music Contact; Elaine Mai, artist and producer; and Matt Dundon, booker for Life Festival, The Big Romance, Hidden Agenda, and District 8. The FACTS 2020 Ireland launch was presented and moderated by Yvonne Kiely, music industry researcher and journalist. Donations were accepted for Inner City Helping Homeless.
Nearly 400 festival editions from around the world spanning the years 2017, 2018, and 2019 were surveyed for FACTS 2020, an increase from the 229 editions surveyed for the FACTS 2017 release. New to this edition is data concerning festivals’ attendance numbers, the gender of the FACTS Survey 2020 – Press Release curators, and whether or not the festival got public funding. A new non-binary gender category was included to reflect more accurately the diversity onstage. The survey will present data from the 2017–2019 range, as well as trends from 2013 to 2019.
Nearly 40 volunteers from the female:pressure network participated in collecting the data for FACTS 2020. In response to emails sent by female:pressure, 30 festival representatives provided the counts of female, non-binary, male, and mixed (i.e., consisting of a combination of gender categories) acts in their festivals’ lineup.
In the years 2017–2019, there were 20.5% female acts, 0.6% non-binary acts, 70.3% male acts‚ 6.6% mixed acts, and 2.0% unidentified acts (i.e., acts where the gender could not be identified) in the electronic music festival line-ups that were counted. For festivals spanning the years 2012 to 2019, 17.3% of all acts were female acts, 74% were male, 6.9% were mixed acts, and 1.5% were unidentified (data for non-binary acts was not collected prior to 2017). Data was collected for 392 festival editions (of 166 different festivals) from 2017 to 2019. Adding this to the previous data, female:pressure has collected data for 675 festival editions (348 festivals) from 2012 to 2019.
female:pressure is an international network of people who work in the fields of electronic music and digital arts, founded by Electric Indigo in 1998. female:pressure conducts and publishes the FACTS Surveys with the aim of addressing and quantifying the disparity in equal opportunity and visibility for female and non-binary artists in electronic music festivals. The FACTS Survey, like the female:pressure network, is the result of grassroots activism, conducted independently from any for- or non-profit organization and without external funding.
The result of the first FACTS survey in 2013 indicated that barely 10% of artists listed in festival line-ups worldwide are female and opened up an international discussion about the state of women in electronic music. Much like the female:pressure network, an objective of the FACTS Survey is to put pressure on the music industry to promote and present the work of women and non-binary artists equally with that of men artists. The gap has narrowed over the years, but progress is moving too slowly.
More detailed results and information about FACTS 2020 can be accessed at https://femalepressure.wordpress.com/