Dua Lipa’s right: we need more female headliners at music festivals

We all love a festival, but have you ever wondered where all the female headliners at?

As awesome as festivals are, they’ve got a pretty big representation issue that people aren’t talking about. Of the festivals you’ve been to, how many of the headliners you’ve seen have been women? Not many, you’ll notice. And cool girl extraordinaire Dua Lipa’s noticed too. 

At only 22 years old, Dua Lipa is one of the biggest names in pop right now. She erupted onto the scene with her life mantra come summer banger ‘new rules’, and she’s had us all hooked with her quirky personality and trendy style ever since. But that doesn’t mean she’s a stranger to the struggle.

Despite her rapid rise to the top, she’s constantly highlighting how difficult it is to be a woman in the music industry, raising awareness that sexism in the music industry makes it harder for young emerging female artists to make it big.

In a recent interview, Dua Lipa made it clear that festivals need to do a better job of giving the headline spots to women, and she couldn’t be more right. In festivals in the UK, only a fraction of women conquer the main stage in comparison to their male counterparts. 

So, what’s the deal with the lack of female headliners? There certainly hasn’t been any shortage of badass female artists topping the charts in recent years. With Beyonce killing the game at Coachella, Cardi B slaying pretty much every stage she’s on, and an abundance of female talent on British soil (anyone else as obsessed with Jorja Smith as I am?) there is seemingly no excuse for such a gender imbalance when it comes to festivals. 

I remember when Shay D first shared the wireless line up with all male acts omitted. It sparked a riot in my head and made me even more conscious of the need to support other female artists in the creative arts industry (by that same token, check @shaydrap's merch and music – it's sick and always got a message and I love that ????). I want to work with, learn from and collaborate with more women. We can win together. ???? Swipe right – Stage Cakes is taking place at Bar 48 in Oval next Thursday – It's a female-led show putting artists from different fields of music and art in the limelight. We've got a fusion of Italian, Congalese, Cypriot, Indi, Folk Music, Spoken Word, Poetry and Storytelling. Knowing who's organising and some of the other acts who'll be sharing on the night, I can already tell it's going to be special✨ DM me if you're planning on coming down – I'll keep your seat warm ????

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Other female artists have piped up about the lack of female artists in festivals, including Lily Allen, who is no stranger to challenging male privilege in the music industry (we are SO here for the sisterhood in 2018.) In the era of ‘me too’, it’s more important than ever that women feel represented when it comes to the spotlight – and festivals definitely need to catch up.

Here’s to a future filled to the brim with badass female headliners, getting the moment in the spotlight they deserve!