March 8th is International Women's Day, a time to celebrate the achievement of women across the board, while also highlighting the obstacles that remain in their way.
Take festival booking. Female artists and DJs still struggle to gain an equal footing, with line ups dominated by (often the same) male artists over and over again.
AMP Lost & Found is obviously a bit different. Founded by Annie Mac, she's keenly aware of the difficulties female DJs can face on the live circuit, and has always gone out of her way to provide an equal and open platform.
Clash spoke to a number of the DJs on the bill for this year's AMP Lost & Found to discuss their experiences...
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“I play a lot of festivals but this is one in particular always nails the gender inclusivity. I remember last year looking around at the crowd and seeing a row of women in front of me, and then turning to the left of the booth to see 3 of my female DJ peers cheering me on. It’s rare for that to happen, although it really shouldn’t be. I hope others promoters take notice and see that it can be done.”
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"A female DJ I really admire once told me she wouldn’t play a headline show unless they booked another female DJ. I was so impressed with her stance and her attitude that to see the change we also have to be the change! And I think that’s exactly what Annie Mac is doing with her Lost & Found line up, not only is she being the change she’s also showing how easy it can be to just book more females - it's not that hard!”
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“The festival has always had a diverse line-up and I'm super proud to be joining this year. I'm excited for a festival season in the future where we don't have to consider gender balancing, I feel like we're working hard to make it an issue of the past. but for now I'm enjoying celebrating all the amazing woman coming through!”
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"We’re finally starting to see a shift with the representation of women in this industry, with so many female artists coming through there is an opportunity for promoters to be part of that shift and strive for 50/50 line-ups always. That should be a priority. The talent and quality is so vast and accessible there is no excuse anymore. No more token females - I am still, a lot of the time, the only woman billed on a line-up with more than five artists, but we are really starting to see a change especially with some festivals - Lost & Found has nailed that this year."
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"For me it’s so amazing playing with my sisters, so when you see so many of them on a line up its fantastic, the best crowds are diverse crowds that comes from booking diverse line ups. It also gives other women people that they can look up to and that was the case for me with Annie Mac. In fact being a radio announcer myself she was someone I could look up to and be inspired by to keep doing what I'm doing."
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“Annie Mac has been so supportive over the years and is someone I have always looked up to during this DJ journey I have been on. Having equality within line ups should be a no brainer in 2019. Why would anyone want to see the same looking person over and over again control their music and vibe all day? We are past that aren't we? It sets a tone that a lot of us actually have no interest in, and we have to start somewhere with changing that.”
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AMP Lost & Found Festival takes place in Malta between May 2nd - 5th.
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