Music promoter Melvin Benn has said "laziness on the part of the music industry" has resulted in fewer female artists breaking through.

The old white male industry that we are, we haven’t been proactive enough about re-balancing and saying we haven’t got enough women here, he said.

And that’s what’s got to be challenged.

After coming under fire for the lack of ladies on this year’s Reading and Leeds line-up – which he curates – Benn has announced a new project called Rebalance, designed to boost the number of female recording artists, producers and engineers.

As well as apprenticeships, bands with women at their core are going to be given free studio time.

After burying my head in the sand for a couple of years, I felt it was time to stick my head up and take responsibility, he said.

Magic-ing up women acts isn’t easy.

I wasn’t sure what I could do, it is an industry-wide issue but I realised I should use my position to do something about it.

People don’t want to see acts that haven’t got music out on all the main music channels. When I looked into it I found there was insufficient women working in the industry and insufficient numbers of women recording.

It’s the men that have the big headline slots at Reading & Leeds later this month: Muse, Kasabian and Eminem.

However, female-fronted acts make it onto the main stage, albeit early on – Deap Vally, Honeyblood, Pvris, The Pretty Reckless and Against The Current.

It might not sound like much, but compared to most festival line-ups it is an improvement.

Some of the biggest names in music are women. Yet there is a shocking lack of female artists performing at some our biggest music events.

On social media, Ellie Goulding has tweeted her frustrations about the lack of women on stage at music festivals.

The singer wrote: Still so proud as a female artist to be headling (sic) and playing festivals around the world every single year.

Need to give myself credit sometimes as I’ve been doing this non-stop for over seven years. I don’t see many females at these festivals.

So how do we go about tackling gender inequality within the music industry?

Lande Hekt, frontwoman and bassist for the punk trio Muncie Girls, believes having more role models would help.

I’ve realised it’s a massive problem for girls, it’s so male dominated. You can feel really alone.

I think targeted funding at this is absolutely essential in bringing about gender balance.

You can’t be what you can’t see, if we’re not creating role models we’re not going to see any changes.

Benn says the aim of the project is to strengthen the talent pipeline.

It’s a small step but hopefully an important one, he said.

(c) Sky News 2017: Promoter says industry ‘laziness’ is behind gender inequality in music

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