#BringOnTheGirls: The Concealed Sexism of India’s Music Scene


#BringOnTheGirls: The Concealed Sexism of India’s Music Scene

Illustration: Sushant Ahire


icture this: You’re at the music festival of your choice. You arrive at the venue, breathlessly taking in the vast landscape of colours and music. You open up the festival guide, pore through the line-up for your favourite artists, but there’s a problem. As you scan the guide, your brows furrow in confusion. You reread the line-up, making sure that you’re not mistaken. There’s a familiar sinking feeling in your stomach as you realise that there are hardly a handful a women artists in a line up of over a 100 acts.

If you’re thinking of this as anecdotal, here are the facts: Over the past seven installations of the Bacardi NH7 Weekender, the average percentage of women artists on the roster is 12 per cent. When it comes to genres, Weekender seems like the one festival where diversity stands out, so it’s disappointing that it has had only one female headliner till date – Imogen Heap in 2011. Other major music festivals don’t fail to let down either, with VH1 Supersonic 2018 having only 14 per cent female artists, Electric Daisy Carnival 2016 having a single female act, and zero female headliners across its bill. The sole ray of hope is Magnetic Fields Festival 2018, with the highest number of female acts, an impressive figure of 28 per cent. All these figures are based off the organisers’ official line-ups.