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The Wireless lineup with the men removed is shocking

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Emily Reynolds
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This year’s Wireless Festival line-up has been announced. And there’s a distinct lack of gender parity…

Fans were anxiously awaiting the Wireless festival lineup – but many have been left disappointed after the full list of acts contained just three women. 

The festival, which takes place every July in Finsbury Park, London, announced J Cole, DJ Khaled and Stormzy as headliners – but Mabel, Cardi B and Lisa Mercedez were the only women included on the lineup. 

The poster was quickly edited – and, with all the male artists removed, it’s a pretty stark illustration of the imbalance. 

And fans of the festival aren’t too happy about it. 

A lack of diversity in the music industry – and specifically in festivals – is nothing new. In 2017, a report from the BBC found that 8 out of 10 festival ‘top slots’ were occupied by all-male acts. 

600 headline spots were analysed for the research, which found that “music festivals fail to reflect the diversity of the UK music scene”. 

“If we continue talking - and we continue investigating and agitating - hopefully, naturally, things will become more inclusive,” musician Emma-Lee Moss told the BBC at the time.  “We have got such amazing musicians in the UK who are women. What about a festival that wasn’t just women-led headliners, but also most of the bands?”

“It’s not just the headliners that are imbalanced, it’s acts all across the board, and we all know there are people making music that are not just white men. If someone decided to reflect that in their line-up, they’d be celebrated.”

Festival organisers Festival Republic has also launched an initiative to increase gender parity in the music industry. Rebalance, a 3 year programme, will provide a week’s recording time to a female artist every month in 2018, 2019 and 2020. The acts will also be given a slot at a Festival Republic or Live Nation festival. 

Image: Rex Features

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Emily Reynolds

Emily Reynolds is a journalist and author based in London. Her first book, A Beginner’s Guide to Losing Your Mind, came out in February 2017 with Hodder & Stoughton. She is currently working on her second.  

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