We have just completed a week long campaign in Sweden, making calls for hard rock & metal, hiphop & R’n’B, pop and rock, techno & house, jazz, folk and world music, and DJs. It was a massive success, generating hundreds of suggestions of great singers and bands from all over Sweden. We’re excited about that and will not be stopping there. Since music is global, we want to expand the suggestions to cover the full global stage.The picture is clear, and universal. No matter how you count, year after year men dominate the festival scenes. We know that change is possible and we are happy to enrich the festivals’ programs with a wider range of options. To that end, we will put out calls to the Equalisters network for performers who are not men that people would like to see on stage. The lists of suggestions will then be compiled and sent to festival organizers as an addition to their existing rosters.- It’s not about quotas for the female acts, but about giving organizers the opportunity to find artists beyond and outside of their usual search field. With the help of 135 000 people who provide recommendations and suggestions of singers and bands they would like to see perform at festivals, we automatically create a uniquely wide search area, says Sofia Embrén, CEO of Equalisters.We have received a lot of help from the people behind the NGO Jämställd Festival (”Equal Festival” in English). They compiled lists of suggestions and collected links to band sites on the internet. Read more about their activities here: http://jamstalldfestival.se
– There is no doubt that this is a topic that affects and upsets, this is obvious especially on the internet. As an organizer, you risk having to sit and defend your line-up in social and traditional media instead of being able to talk about everything that is fun and positive with the festival, says Sofia Embrén.– We believe that organizers should book whatever performers they like. But if they also want to book with more variation, then they can get advice and suggestions from us. We are happy to help, says Sofia Embrén.Equalisters is an equality initiative which today consists of more than 135 000 people who voluntarily collaborate on Facebook to help projects, organizations and the media to find competence that has been neglected. The vision is that stereotypical notions about gender, origin and physical ability should not limit people’s opportunities and rights to do what they want and can.