For a music festival that just two years ago was forced to publicly defend itself against accusations of gender bias, Wednesday morning’s Splendour in the Grass lineup reveal brought a welcome surprise: a hefty array of female artists.
Of the 104 acts featured in the first lineup announcement (not including Triple J Unearthed national or local invitees), 45 are women or feature at least one non-male member. At 43 per cent female representation, it’s a solid increase on 2019’s lineup which featured just 34 per cent of acts with at least one non-male member.
Despite prominently featuring acts such as Karen O’s Yeah Yeah Yeahs, US singer King Princess and local artists Julia Jacklin, Thelma Plum and Sampa The Great, the festival has still drawn criticism online over its choice of headliners, which remain exclusively male-dominated: Sydney DJ Flume, US rapper and recent Grammy-winner Tyler The Creator, and turn-of-the-millennium US rock veterans The Strokes.
Jessica Ducrou, the co-founder and producer of Splendour in the Grass, which celebrates its 20th iteration in July, maintains it’s an issue of supply and demand.