EDM Festivals Book About 20 Times More Males Than Females…

Screen shot 2014-05-29 at 5.37.22 PM
  • Save

The statement above comes from DJ and producer Anna Lunoe regarding the following infographic. Lunoe has been touring the festival circuit, and recently played Coachella and Ultra.

Thump, Vice’s EDM news site, has tallied how many women were booked at some of the most popular electronic music festivals. They compared Ultra, EDC, Electric Zoo, Spring Awakening, Mysteryland, Mutek, and Movement.

  • Save

In comparison, 20.4 percent of Coachella’s lineup and 18.2 percent of Bonnaroo’s lineup is female. However, Coachella’s dance music tents only had four female acts.

Thump also says “no female artist has top billing at a major North American dance music festival”.

At the end of last year, Destructo (the founder of HARD Festival), announced plans for all-female festival dates. This idea came from his desire to include and showcase females in electronic music. There has been no follow up to this announcement.

Nina Ulloa covers breaking news, tech, and more. Follow her on Twitter: @nine_u

15 Responses

  1. Anonymous

    Her statement is a bit weird in that she’s referring to the population of the world (50%), and is assuming that as many women are actually applying/trying to work in this industry as men.

    I think there’s probably a better way to look at the figures to see the relativity of the situation.

    • Nina Ulloa

      she’s not assuming that. in a follow up comment she said:
      “I think there are 2 questions to ask : 1. Why are there less women trying to be dj’s. 2. Of the female djs out there, why are so few becoming successful?”

      • Anonymous

        I met Anna in Sydney in 2008, she was embedded in the scene there at the time. It’s taken her six years to get to where she is now, on ULTRA, good booking etc. This is a hustle like anything else, there are successful female dj’s and have been for years. Using the festival demographic as a barometer for success is a bit one dimensional in my opinion, it’s one highly commercial aspect of an industry that has produced and continues to produce great female talent.

        As mentioned below, a lot of times what separates any DJ (male or female) is their ability to function as a producer and artist. Look at any “successful” DJ in the upper echelons, the actually DJing is a symptom of their production work and the marketing of that.

      • Versus

        There’s one more question to ask:

        Why does it matter?

  2. Leo Corson

    Nina Ulloa,

    As an artist agent and artist manager myself, I am not going to point to any other reasons, which males tend to do, except those that have some sort of objective viewpoint such as the following:

    I can say that the pool of serious female DJs (artists) is exponentially LESS than males, especially within the EDM space. That is not a sexist issue, it is a fact that it is an historically male-dominated industry for a number of reasons.

    Last year I booked two female artists on EDC Las Vegas (Lady Faith, from Los Angeles and Lisa Lashes from London). I wanted to book another from the Netherlands, Korskoff, but she cannot LEGALLY perform here in the United States. I would love to have brought the female due Kamikaze from Sydney but they are very young and unknown. This brings up the main issue of booking foreign artists in the United States is not easy as there are a handful of foreign female artists that would LOVE to perform here.

    Any foreign artist, male or female, wishing to perform in the United States MUST obtain an O1 entertainment visa for a solo act and a P1 entertainment visa for a duo or more, which the USCIS has to approve. This can be an expensive and lengthy process and if an artist is not of “worth” the USCIS will deny his/her petition. An O1 visa can be good for up to three years and a P1 needs to be renewed EVERY year. There a few visa agencies that cn assist with this process but depending on your case it can be upwards of around $3,000.00 USD to obtain a visa. Furthermore, if you are a younger more unknown artist, you will have to hire an immigration lawyer, which can cost upwards of $8,000.00 USD. A clear barrier to entry.


    Another issue I have personally noticed is the issue that women tend to have a harder time producing music without the help of an engineer or producer at the helm. Not sure why this is, but a simple observation on my end from being in the business since the 1990s.

    Obviously, this creates another barrier to entry as any rising female artist who wants to take it to the next level must now hire or pay a producer a percentage of earnings. No bookings means no income means no producer / engineer. Double-edged sword.

    There are a lot of reasons as to why they are LESS bookings for female artists but the obvious most glaring example is lack of a large pool to chose from. Hope my ramblings make sense.

    Respectfully Yours,

    Leo Corson

  3. George Jordison

    To Leo Corson

    You’ve been in the music business since the 1990’s and your simple observation is that woman need a producer or an engineer to help them (and you’ve implied that that’s a male producer or engineer… obviously because the whole debate here is that there aren’t nearly as many women in those jobs.)
    This is one of the most ignorant and patronising statements I have ever read.

    However, here is a simple observation… the reason there are less woman rising to the higher levels of dance music is about the public’s perception of females in a role like this where it has been dominated by men for so long. Women are perceived to be not as good or incapable, so it is always an uphill battle to break through the mainstream. It’s the same with other music genres, or sports or, let’s be honest, pretty much any industry you can think of, we see the same attitudes towards woman. It’s really stupid and needs to change. The sooner we realise that men and woman are equal and just judge the music for the music the better.

    • Versus

      “the reason there are less woman rising to the higher levels of dance music is about the public’s perception of females in a role like this where it has been dominated by men for so long.”

      Where is your evidence that this is the public perception?
      I don’t have this perception. I have heard excellent and awful female and male DJs, and never saw gender to be a predictor either way.

  4. hippydog

    Why are females less inclined to be DJs? I dont know..
    but I think thats the primary problem..
    At the beginner stage, there are way more males then females, after that its just a numbers game..

    • mdti

      >>Why are females less inclined to be DJs? I dont know..

      Why men want to be DJ?
      The answer probably contains a part of the answer to your question.

  5. Anonymous

    Why are there hardly any female drummers? Why are the pop charts dominated by female “artists”? Not everything is a conspiracy.

  6. sonqiuarium muzika

    So, this is news huh? Well, lets first look at the data on “Releases”. As in production. How many Female Producers are djing these festivals? Then look at how many Female Producers are producing quality choons that well, are charted? Dig deeper. Being a DJ isn’t much, let alone special now adays. There are a million just like me, who act like me, talk like me, walk like me but they are not Just Me. In other words, djs are a dime a dozen.

    There are some great talent as far as females, I’ve played, toured and produced with some of them. Then, there are those who produce nothing and play topless that get more gigs than say, a basement dj who has better programing skils and djing skills.

    Bottom line, your article is noise. Nothing bu noise. Festivals in the US are pretty much Commercial crap, headlined by the same old Commercial Jocks, who have been in the Top 100djs for 30 years.

    My suggestion to you, get on a plane and head to Ibiza. There are plenty of great producing and djing Females heading events. Head over to Berlin, plenty there also. Point being….the real force behind EDM isn’t the Commercial pushing Top Jocks (Male or Female). It’s the underground producers/jocks, (Female and Male) that spawn creativity and push the boundaries. Females are very active in that realm.

    So, enjoy your candy flip and “raver” 15 year old markets, during the Festivals. If you really want to see the Female influence in EDM, then head deeper…..out of the garbage and into the abyss.