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Diversity in the Live Music Events Industry.

Andy Robertson

As with any industry sector the importance of diversity in the workplace is vital to ensure an inclusive balanced working environment. The live music events sector should be no different from any other industry however recent studies reveal that there is still much work required to address imbalances 

History has not been kind to the live music industry with white males dominating key industry roles for decades. Despite performance artists coming from wide and varied cultural backgrounds of all sexual orientation it is the management of those artists that is dominated by white males. Event and artist production companies have traditionally been male dominated and although this has been changing gradually over the years there is still a long way to go.

Women make up around 40% of all occupations working in the events sector however, it is the management roles that are still predominantly male with 80% of music and event producer roles being performed by men and it's not much better in management roles in events companies with 72% being male. When looking at more technical roles like audio and light engineers or anything to do with stage backlines and power supply these technical roles are 97% male. It's not just the male/female split that is seriously imbalanced but the gender pay gap also gives cause for concern.

With so much work still to do the Music Venue Trust and PRS Foundation have developed a programme to encourage more young women and gender minorities to break into promoting live music. They have developed a campaign called ‘Fightback’ which aims to offer training, mentoring and practical support to young women and gender minorities who are passionate about live music and want to learn the skills to become an independent promoter. More information on this initiative and a comprehensive report by PRS can be found in their Diversity Report published in 2020. This includes current statistics, progress over time and an action plan to improve diversity in the live music events sector.

The issue of diversity in the live music and events sectors needs to tackled proactively by all those working in the industry. The event goers and people who ultimately purchase tickets want to be assured that the event they attend supports every aspect of diversity. For events organisers it is important to communicate their commitment to diversity in the same way that environmental sustainability is promoted as the ethos of that event. The ten-step action plan issued by PRS is a good guide for event organisers and producers to adopt but needs to be backed up with published transparent polices. In addition, these policies should be supported financially to implement these policies and initiatives which then need to be monitored over time. 

Festival Pro support diversity and opportunity for all in the live music events industry. For any music festival organisers planning their 2021 events using a software management platform like Festival Pro gives them all the functionality they need manage every aspect of their event. The guys who are responsible for this software have been in the front line of event management for many years and the features are built from that experience and are performance artists themselves. The Festival Pro platform is easy to use and has comprehensive features with specific modules for managing artists, contractors, venues/stages, vendors, volunteers, sponsors guestlists and ticketing.

Photo by Canva Studio from Pexels

Andy Robertson
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