Billy Bragg believes festival organizers need to secure a gender-balance for festivals. In doing so, he hopes it will accurately reflect society.
“We’ll do what we try and do every year, which is live up to Emily’s idea of a gender-balanced bill,” Bragg said. In discussing the selection for artists, he said: “We aim for as near as possible 50/50 as we can get.”
“To try and reflect society as it is, rather than being just me! I’m really just the front person, our area manager, our head of production, our key person putting together the debates are all female.”
Bragg also praised Emily Eavis, showrunner of Glastonbury, for keeping the spirit of the festival alive. He said: “She’s helped to put her stamp on the festival, the way she’s helped to renew the idea of what Glastonbury is”.
Keeping with the theme of gender-balance, Billy’s beliefs reflect those of The 1975 frontman, Matty Healy. The lead singer declared the band’s intentions to play festivals with gender-balanced line-ups only.
This was in response to journalist Laura Snapes, over the lack of female and non-binary artists for this year’s Reading & Leeds Festival. As a result, Healy promised: “Take this as me signing this contract – I have agreed to some festivals already that may not adhere to this and I would never let fans down who already have tickets.”
The ‘Frail State Of Mind’ vocalist added: “But from now I will and believe this is how male artist can be true allies.”
Bragg recently performed at Glastonbury 2019. In an NME review of his performance, he was awarded four of five stars.
The review read, “But closing the stage tonight with a cheerfully low-tech performance – just Bragg, his guitar and occasional help from his lead guitarist – the singer-songwriter showed there’s far more to him than barking about politics.”