Australia promoters Secret Sounds release statement regarding gender diversity

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Secret Sounds, the promoters behind Australian festivals Splendour In The Grass and Falls Festival, have released a statement concerning gender balance at festivals. The statement can be read in it's entirety below. 

Hi everyone!

Rightly so there has been a lot of talk lately around gender balance on festivals which includes Splendour in the Grass / Falls Festival and we’d like to add to the conversation. As we at Secret Sounds are represented by 64% women, with 50% in executive positions, we see the importance of this issue and the opportunity to implement change.

Earlier this week triple j released their annual “By The Numbers” report on gender equality in the Australian music industry which included statistics for five Australian festivals including Splendour and Falls. We love triple j and have worked with them for many years but like all good friends you have to call them out when you think their rationale is flawed. The initial statistics in their story were miscalculated and whilst they have since issued a correction (thanks j's) we feel it doesn’t go far enough http://www.abc.net.au/triplej/programs/hack/by-the-numbers-2018/9524084 scroll to bottom editors note.

There has been plenty of debate around how diversity is counted. When it comes to festivals, triple j judge female representation on the first line-up announcement poster as the key criteria. We don’t agree.

In Falls Festival’s case they have not counted the entire line-up of each show and therefore excluded artists such as Haiku Hands, Jen Cloher, Stella Donnelly, Nina Las Vegas, Maddy Jane, San Cisco, WAAX, Hatchie, Wafia, Press Club, Jess Locke and others. Nor does triple j count guest singers with an artist, eg. AlunaGeorge appearing with Peking Duk at Splendour or key female band members who permanently play with male artists eg. Salliana Campbell with Bernard Fanning or Vika & Linda Bull with Paul Kelly.

Failing to count women in bands because they are not listed on a first line-up announcement poster, or are deemed a touring member or guest vocalist, is in our opinion unacceptable, it's exclusive rather than inclusive.

That said, we also accept we have more work to do and are far from perfect. We want this conversation to continue. We want things to evolve. We also want to say to all of the women who have taken to the stage at Splendour and Falls, in any capacity, WE COUNT YOU!

Thanks for reading.

Big love,
Team Secret Sounds