Brit-award winning band the 1975 will no longer play festivals with too few female artists in the line up, lead singer Matty Healy has confirmed.
The frontman made this pledge following the announcement of the Reading and Leeds Festival line up, which has been widely criticised, due to only 20 out of 91 acts being female.
In an interview with the Guardian, Healy was challenged by deputy music editor Laura Snapes to "only play festivals that commit to X per cent (ideally 50 per cent!) acts that include women and non-binary performers”.
'Time to act not chat'
The singer accepted the challenge saying “people need to act not chat”.
He wrote on Twitter, “Take this as me signing this contract – I have agreed to some festivals already that may not adhere to this and I would never let fans down who already have tickets. But from now I will, and believe this is how male artists can be true allies.”
Take this as me signing this contract - I have agreed to some festivals already that may not adhere to this and I would never let fans down who already have tickets. But from now I will and believe this is how male artist can be true allies ❤️ https://t.co/1eaZG2hEze
— 🥾🌍 (@Truman_Black) February 12, 2020
Healy didn't specify what proportion of female acts he would insist on, and added that his agents would be "having kittens" about his apparently impromptu pledge. But he insisted "time's up" for any festival that doesn't support women.
"The point is that Reading and Leeds with more women would be honestly the best festival in the world," he concluded.
"Let's not judge people and give the benefit of the doubt that people are going to start to listen. I can feel the change!"
The 1975 are holding their own one-day festival in London's Finsbury Park this summer, where six of the seven support acts are female.
Social media reaction
The lack of female acts in Reading and Leeds festival has gained attention on social media.
Radio One DJ Annie Mac wrote on Twitter, “Feeling so disheartened about this Reading and Leeds line up. At the blatant lack of want to represent women. For all the 16 year old girls going to their first festival at Reading and Leeds 2020. Just know that you DO belong on those stages.”
Writer and promoter Lucy McCourt has produced a redacted poster for the festival exposing the industry’s lack of progress.
— Lucy ⚰️ (@lucy_mccourt) February 11, 2020