Given that it has been an astonishingly horrible week (between the Boston Marathon bombing and the fertilizer plant explosion in Texas) we almost forgot about Coachella. Coachella is also terrible, but a lesser, funny, amusing kind of terrible! But still terrible given that there are apparently no women there.
According to Buzzfeed Shift:
Women musicians have always been severely underrepresented at Coachella. Since its inception in 1999, the average of female-driven acts at Coachella represents about 16% of the total bill, and throughout the festival’s history on the whole, there has never been a year with more than a 25% female lineup. This year was especially disproportionate in terms of gender visibility.
The data becomes even more troubling when one weighs the amount of male top-tier headliners versus female ones at Coachella. Throughout all 13 festivals, exactly two female musicians have appeared at the highest level of its bills — Björk in 2002 and 2007, and Portishead in 2008.
When I think of great performers over history, I feel like men and women line up just about equally. Billie Holiday for Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald for Frank Sinatra, Janis Joplin for Bob Dylan. So… I doubt this is because men are just fundamentally better at music?
The Coachella founder Paul Tollet claims “In general, we like the diversity when we’re putting a festival together.” Which would be great! We’d all like to see more of that. Maybe one way to do that would be getting it up to say, 25% female acts. Don’t worry, there will still be plenty of male rock stars for Paris Hilton in a headband to lust after.