The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - FRONT PAGE - SALLY COATES

In 2017, not one of Aus­tralia’s five big­gest fes­ti­vals had gen­der equal line-ups, whereby fe­male acts or acts with at least one woman were on par with male-only acts.

On aver­age, fe­male rep­re­sen­ta­tion only made up 34.8 per cent, which is ac­tu­ally a record high in Aus­tralian mu­sic.

Holly Rankin, aka Jack River, put to­gether the first Elec­tric Lady all-fe­male band night last June, and less than a year later they’re head­lin­ing a stage at Fes­ti­val 2018. We chat to Holly about the con­cept and be­gin­nings.

So how did Elec­tric Lady all start?

It started as a band night in June 2017, I was look­ing at the in­dus­try and what I could do to con­trib­ute to a global move­ment and de­cided that a band night was an awe­some idea to put all my favourite fe­male mu­si­cians in one room and pro­file as many of their sto­ries as pos­si­ble.

There are some peo­ple who say to have a “fe­male only” band night is ac­tu­ally sex­ist against men. What would be your re­sponse to that?

I’d love for there to not have to be an Elec­tric Lady but we re­ally need it. There are all­male line-ups ev­ery day and it is an ex­treme rar­ity to find an all-fe­male line-up. If any­one does their re­search they’ll agree there needs to be a quick shock re­ac­tion to this prob­lem. Elec­tric Lady in­creases vis­i­bil­ity. These nights ul­ti­mately shouldn’t have to ex­ist but they are ad­dress­ing very real gaps that we have to take pre­cau­tions to fix.

Tell me about the line-up for Fes­ti­val 2018. Who is there and why have you cho­sen them?

It’s re­ally hard to choose, but we wanted to put to­gether a line-up that spans a cou­ple of gen­res and dif­fer­ent cul­tural back­grounds so ev­ery­one in the line-up has a point of dif­fer­ence and an in­ter­est­ing story. So the line-up con­sists of my­self, Meg Mac, Nina Las Ve­gas, Wafia and Kar­da­jala Kir­ri­darra. Kar­da­jala Kir­ri­darra is prob­a­bly one of the most in­cred­i­ble acts in Aus­tralian mu­sic right now. They are a three-piece from the North­ern Ter­ri­tory who live in re­mote com­mu­ni­ties called Mar­linja and Ku­lu­min­dini. They mix Aus­tralian con­tem­po­rary elec­tronic mu­sic and rap­ping with their own tra­di­tional sounds and sto­ries. It’s so awe­some for us to have them travel to the GC and play in front of thou­sands of peo­ple.

You have a new sin­gle out, Ball­room, taken from up­com­ing al­bum Sugar Moun­tain ... will you be per­form­ing a few songs from that al­bum?

I just got off tour and we played songs on the al­bum for the first time, so I can’t wait to play the GC some of the new songs. It’s so good to fi­nally an­nounce the al­bum and be able to talk about it after five years in the mak­ing. I had a re­ally crazy, dark youth across the years of 18-23 and I made the al­bum as an an­swer to that. That’s the theme that runs through it all, sparkly, beau­ti­ful bold pop songs, but there’s def­i­nitely a lot of fight and re­silience. The free Elec­tric Lady show, April 10, Surfers Par­adise Main Stage

Holly Rankin, aka Jack River, will be part of the Elec­tric Lady line-up at Fes­ti­val 2018.

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