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Glastonbury’s Emily Eavis champions gender equality in spite of “old guard”

Glastonbury’s Emily Eavis champions gender equality in spite of “old guard”

Emily Eavis

Speaking out over Glastonbury Festival’s ‘male-dominated culture’

Glastonbury Festival organiser Emily Eavis has spoken out about the lack of female headliners and acts at the Worthy Farm event.

Speaking at an event for Industry Day, spearheaded by BBC Radio 1‘s Annie Mac at the Moth Club in Hackney, East London – Eavis described the male-dominated culture at the event as “impenetrable” and said she faced an “old guard” of men in charge of building the festival and booking its stages.


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Whilst admitting she had been labelled a “real hassle” by some colleagues – Eavis said was determined to promote female artists, book female headliners and introduce more women into the team.

She added: “It’s a lot of old guys running things, the old bookers.”

“They love a beer with the guys, the agents.

“They do golf days, they do football trips, and there’s a whole brotherhood which is so tight.

“It’s impenetrable.

“It feels like it.

“I’m like, ‘Come on’.


“I know they are labelling me as a real hassle, and it’s such a hassle. ‘Will you just shut up’ and ‘It wasn’t like this when your dad was in charge’.

“It’s so annoying.

“But if you want to make progress you just have to do it, and you have to be up for being a bit of an annoyance.

“Unfortunately, you have to make a massive jump the other way to make the tiniest bit of progress.

“That means me being really pushy with these people.

“It’s the tiniest bit of progress.

“We are nowhere near where we need to be.

“We’re making slow progress but there’s a long way to go.”

Being an ambassador for Keychange, which is a talent development initiative which aims to empower women to transform the future of the music industry – Eavis has been strongly championing gender equality at Glastonbury Festival

Speaking to Music Week mid last year, Eavis insisted that equality is at the top of the agenda for the festival as they are striving for a 50/50 gender balance across Glastonbury’s line-up – later admitted they were “a little way off”.

Eavis added: “The thing about the men who book (our) stages, quite a lot of them are old men.

“They don’t understand why I am pushing them the whole time.

“When one of them presented a line-up this year, they were like, ‘Right, I’m done, this is it.’

“And I was just like, ‘I’m really sorry but you’re just going to have to take some of those blokes off. Where are the women?’

“There were no girls, where are the women?

“Come on, for God’s sake.”

The Annie Mac Presents event also featured record label bosses, promoters and journalists from the likes of NME’s Charlie Gunn, Island Records’ Olivia Nunn and songwriter Carla Marie Williams.

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