International Women’s Day 2021

Pink Lemonade's Drummer Frankie - Image © tonybell.PHOTOGRAPHY

Let’s be honest, the entertainment industry has not been kind to women.  There are however signs that the times they are a changin’. According to Wired Magazine “…women will dominate – and dismantle – the music industry. They will ‘anchor the cultural conversation’ and remake the music business.”

As a man that doesn’t scare me in the least. I welcome this new world order. However stereotypes and bad habits are difficult things to see, let alone overcome.  We will only overcome them by consciously changing our own mindsets.

Throughout my career I have worked with some amazing people.  If I am honest, some of the best managers I have worked with were women.  Definitely, the best creative collaborations I have been involved in have been with women.

Since joining the Grapevine team – 75% female I might add – I have been privileged to be very closely involved with live music – many of the local performers have become friends.  I have interviewed international artists who have been very honest with me about how difficult the music industry is and more so if you are a woman.

At open mic nights it never ceases to amaze me how many top quality acts are out there.  Whilst I have not analysed the numbers scientifically, anecdotally l can say that women outnumber the men.  Suffice to say if I were to namecheck them all it would be a very long list.

Most recently, (pre-pandemic and in-between lockdowns), I have been enjoying gigs at the Hunter Club where I have fallen in love with performances by Laura Wyatt, Three Years Younger, Josie, Pink Lemonade and Abagail Laker. Not forgetting my friends Kelly Bayfield, Lucy Hart – not only an incredible songwriter but a very able graphic designer too.  Then there is Malaya Blue, Sam Coe, Belinda Gilett… oh this is getting silly now.  Let’s stop with the lists.

Despite thinking that I do not harbor any male/female bias, on days like these, #IWD2021, it is good to remind yourself that, sometimes, the subconscious takes over. So today I don’t mind saying out loud: I will maintain a gender-neutral mindset!

Laura Wyatt – one of the many talented women performing in our region
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