We all know that when it comes to booking festivals, sexism is unfortunately alive and well. According to a 2018 Pitchfork investigation featuring a sampling of 20 American music festivals, it was revealed that, on average, only 19% of festival performers were female or non-binary. An additional 11% were bands with at least one female or non-binary member. That means that an average of 70% of solo performers or bands at American music festivals last year were all-male.
The facts are depressing, but not surprising. Women have long had to fight for their place on the stage, no matter the quality of their work. A lack of representation not only forces women into the shadows, it makes it so it becomes impossible for women to continue pursuing music. That's why this year, I'm proud to be working with Pickathon.
Mindful of gender disparity in festivals, 2019's Pickathon will feature 44% female/non-binary artists. However, unlike other festivals that simply constitute having a woman or non-binary band member in the background as celebrating female/non-binary artists, Pickathon only considers acts non-male centric if a band features a woman or non-binary person front and center. If Pickathon were to interpret their data as other festivals do, this percentage would surely be higher. After all, talent is never gendered.
A sampling of female/non-binary artists performing at this year's Pickathon
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A queer, indigenous artist from Washington, now living in Portland, Black Belt Eagle Scout’s Katherine Paul crafts aching bedroom pop with a rock n’ roll bend. Growing up just outside of Anacortes at the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community reservation, Paul combines influences from her culture with the Riot Grrrl and grunge she discovered as a teen.
Australian singer-songwriter Julia Jacklin creates poignant indie rock that touches upon feminist themes, heartbreak, and self-preservation. Painful at times, her most recent album, Crushing, marks the dissolution and aftermath of a broken relationship. With playfully sardonic lyrics paired with heavy themes, Julia Jacklin writes songs for the hopeful romantic.