Women ‘not properly represented in music industry,’ festival to hear

Women are still not enjoying the same opportunities to make music in Northern Ireland as men, a talent development scout has said.

A campaign to achieve gender balance in traditional music and folk will feature in the Women’s Work festival in Belfast in June.

Charlene Hegarty, talent development and project coordinator at the Oh Yeah Music Centre in Belfast, said women were making a valuable contribution to the local scene.

She added: “That is not because females are not making music, they are making music as often as males but the representation and opportunities available were not historically there, so we are trying to do our bit to change that.”

In the UK in 2017 a quarter of line-ups at large music festivals featured a female. In the US less than a tenth of women were headliners.

The Women’s Work festival will last for five days from June 5.

It features a tribute to Blondie, as well as a women’s Irish hip hop night.

The programme also includes a conversation with Genesis, who is a Columbian beauty queen, activist and musician. The Guilty Feminist, an award-winning podcast presented by Deborah Frances-White, will be recorded live at the Limelight bar on June 8.

Lord Mayor of Belfast, Deirdre Hargey, said: “Belfast boasts a vibrant and diverse music scene that everyone can be proud of.

“Our reputation for developing world-class talent continues to go from strength-to-strength and the contribution women make to that success cannot be underestimated.”

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