The Weekend Australian - Review - - Music Reviews - Iain Shed­den

If not quite caus­ing danc­ing in the street there was much celebration around this week’s an­nounce­ment for the an­nual Falls Fes­ti­val in Lorne, Vic­to­ria; Mar­ion Bay in Tassie; By­ron Bay, NSW; and Fre­man­tle, Western Aus­tralia, at the turn of the year, with a stel­lar bill that in­cludes Liam Gal­lagher, Flume, Fleet Foxes, the Kooks, DD Dumbo, Pek­ing Duk and Foster the Peo­ple among the lead­ing names.

The an­nounce­ment on Tues­day did not pass with­out some com­ment on so­cial me­dia about the lack of women on the bill, an ob­ser­va­tion that has be­come louder in re­cent years and in re­cent weeks as lo­cal artists such as singer Ali Barter have be­moaned the lack of recog­ni­tion for fe­male mu­si­cians in the past as well as in the present. Ecca Van­dal, Ju­lia Jack­lin and Alex La­hey are three of a hand­ful of fe­male acts men­tioned in Falls’ first an­nounce­ment, al­though there are many names to be added. The fig­ure does pose a dif­fi­cult ques­tion, how­ever. Do fes­ti­vals such as Falls, which by and large at­tract an even num­ber of men and women, need to lift their quota of fe­male acts to bet­ter rep­re­sent the wealth of tal­ented lo­cal and over­seas fe­male mu­si­cians, or should fes­ti­vals be left to book the best line-up they can re­gard­less of gen­der? In the wake of re­cent ini­tia­tives by in­dus­try body APRA/AMCOS and oth­ers to in­crease the num­ber of fe­males em­ployed in the lo­cal mu­sic in­dus­try, per­haps it is time — sub­ject to their avail­abil­ity, of course — for a greater show­cas­ing of fe­male tal­ent at these main­stream and in­die mu­sic gath­er­ings.

Alex La­hey will play the Falls Fes­ti­val

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