The results from a very small cross section of artists submitting music for just one calendar week out of a year (and not a particularly busy one) tend to support the theory that there are many more men (78%) submitting music than women, but, and of those submitted to just my blog over the same period, only 60% of the artists were wholly male. Both figures are below the 85% quoted beforehand and many percentages of musician splits at UK music festival's in 2015.
The most striking thing about the results to me is the number of ‘ones’ in the female page. Just eight acts had more than two females in them out of 425 (1.9%). In comparison there were 131 acts with more than two male members (30.8%).
What does that mean? As a bunch of numbers by themselves, absolutely nothing. The supply chain is not the same as the output of blogs, websites etc. The so called ‘tastemakers’ (I bloody hate that term) are the people who act as ‘gatekeepers’ (yep, I hate that one too) and turn music submissions into news that perhaps then generates publicity for artists etc. The next exercise then is maybe to go through publications and do a similar analysis. Robin at Breaking More Waves has already done mine. In the last month, I featured 71% female acts. I doubt that trend would follow across the board. This is a small blog that is nothing more than an expression of an individual’s taste, I tend to favour melodic, melancholic, dark, brooding, haunting, beautiful music and I tend to think the female voice can express emotion better. That’s my own personal opinion anyway.
Whilst my results go a little way to supporting the original hypothesis, the percentage of submissions received were male only is 60% of artists, therefore, you’ve every expectation that the profile of acts publicised on blogs and lining up at festivals were of a similar cross section. I’m not quite sure why that isn’t the case.
How can that change? Well in my opinion talking about it is a start and promoting music that you enjoy is another. Why aren’t festivals like Glastonbury, which sell out before any line-up announcement is made, not more diverse already? I really don’t know, it is a question that is rightly being raised. Hopefully, if people keep asking it, we’ll find an answer together.
Another point worth noting on a purely blog functionality point and nothing to do with this post is that in just one week (well not quite one week) I received 425 unique, purely music based (that’s ignoring the dreaded follow-up email) submissions. That’s about the same number of posts I make in a year. Basic math therefore tells you you’ve got a 1/52 chance of me picking up on your email (and that’s ignoring all the posts I source from other sources). I wish I could change that but I simply cannot, not whilst a day continues to have 24 hours!
Right, that's enough for one today - I'm off to check if any mice have made a home in my tent!.