Anne-Marie, Annie Mac and Self Esteem

Standon Calling has become the first major UK festival to book at least a 50 per cent line-up of female and non-binary acts, making good on its Keychange pledge signed in 2018.

The Hertfordshire festival, which returns July 21-24, has achieved a 54 per cent representation of female-identifying and gender minority artists for its 2022 edition.

It joins UK-based specialist genre events Marsden Jazz Festival and True North Music’s Americana, Country and Roots festival in ensuring that it has achieved 50:50 gender parity.

Like many other UK festivals, Standon Calling committed to PRS Foundation’s Keychange initiative four years ago with the aim to have a gender-balanced line-up by 2022.

It has female-identifying acts headlining the festival’s three biggest stages including Anne-Marie, Self Esteem and Annie Mac.

Whilst working towards the landmark achievement, the festival has adopted a creative approach to highlighting the positive change in how it’s curating two of its stages.

On the Friday (July 22) the Cowshead venue will host an all-female and non-binary bill including sets by Annie Mac, Logic1000, Jamz Supernova, Elkka, India Jordan, Grove (DJ set) and Tailor Jae.

Anne-Marie. CREDIT: JMEnternational/Getty Images

On the Sunday night (July 24) the Laundry Meadows stage will also feature an all-female and non-binary bill of Self Esteem, Ezra Furman, CMAT and Bessie Turner.

Also appearing this July will be Sugababes, Sigrid, Gabrielle, Kelly Lee Owens, Dry Cleaning, Enny, Billy Nomates, Nadia Rose, The Subways, Olivia Dean and many more.

Commenting on the news, Francine Gorman, Keychange Project Manager (UK) said: “Standon Calling are setting a great example to the global festival community, by achieving their Keychange pledge of programming at least 50 per cent women and gender minority artists to their stages this year.

“By demonstrating that gender representative line ups can be achieved, and by giving under-represented artists their rightful space on a prominent festival stage, we hope that others will be encouraged to follow suit and to take positive action towards achieving gender equality throughout the music industry.”

Festival Founder and Director Alex Trenchard added: “When we signed up to Keychange back in 2018, we pledged that we would commit to ensuring 50:50 gender balance on our line up by 2022.

“At the time this felt like a huge challenge, but we’re delighted to say that we’re on track to exceed that figure with 54 per cent of acts on our 2022 line up identifying as female or non-binary.

“Our lineups are stronger and more diverse than ever. We’re delighted to be leading the way amongst the industry, showing that gender balance in festivals in 2022 is both possible and a key component of curating an exciting line up.”

See the full line-up so far for Standon Calling 2022 here.

The post Standon Calling becomes first major UK festival to achieve gender-balanced line-up appeared first on NME.


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