Keychange agenda heads to European Parliament

Keychange agenda heads to European Parliament

Vanessa Reed, CEO of PRS Foundation, is presenting a manifesto in collaboration with Keychange festival partners to the European Parliament in Brussels. Reed joined this year’s Roll Of Honour at the Music Week Women In Music Awards.

The Keychange initiative encourages a gender-balanced music industry worldwide. The manifesto’s measures have the aim of increasing and sustaining representation of women in the music industry.

The document was formulated from the achievements, ideas and suggestions of Keychange partners and participants, which include 60 emerging female artists and innovators and seven festivals from Europe and Canada who have been working together over the past 18 months.

At the European Parliament, supporters of Keychange will call for collective changes to working conditions and recruitment for women in the music industry, investment in targeted programmes, research and analysis of the gender pay gap and education to promote role models.

Keychange has become a global movement for festivals that want to demonstrate their commitment to achieving a better gender balance across their stages. Since launching in September 2018, more than 140 festivals have signed the Keychange pledge towards achieving a 50/50 gender split across line-ups, conferences and commissions by 2022.

Vanessa Reed said: “Launching this manifesto at an event which brings together Keychange participants, MEPs, the European Commission and music industry bodies is an important way of demonstrating how far we’ve come since we launched Keychange in September 2017 with funding from the European Commission’s Creative Europe programme.

“Alongside the overwhelming interest in the Keychange Festival pledge, themanifesto  highlights  the valuable contributions Keychange artists and innovators are making to the wider reaching debate about what needs to change in the industry. Collaborative action and a wholesale look at how we can nurture and sustain a broader range of talent in our workforce underpins  their proposals.  I hope this first set of recommendations provides a powerful starting point for further debate  about the best practical steps towards tangible and lasting improvements which will benefit everyone.”

Alex Schulz, Reeperbahn festival director, said: “As a Keychange partner, it's been great to see how quickly awareness has spread amongst festivals across the world who've joined in with our collective pledge towards gender equality. As many of our events are at the same time market-places for talents, this pledge will definitely change the gender balance among the next generation of headliners. The manifesto gives us a chance to reflect on challenges across other parts of the music industry which impact on the female artists and industry pros we're supporting. I hope the manifesto's recommendations will stimulate further collaboration between the industry, governments and the European Commission, and that we start to see more companies nurturing and benefiting from the full breadth of talent which could be contributing to music in Europe.”

Helen Sildna, director of Tallinn Music Week, said:The future success and relevance of the music industry depends on innovation and our ability to collaborate and adjust to a fast changing environment. That will only come from diverse teams –  empowerment of next generation and novel ideas as well as more opportunities for talent from all backgrounds to operate in flexible and sustainable working environments. Supporting women to boldly choose their path and career in music is a way to both upgrade the industry as well as to create next generation role models in a society, based on equal opportunities. We were proud to achieve a gender balance at our conference this year and feel its just a kick-off to a new generation music industry – fit for the 21st century – ready to innovate, flourish and offer the exquisite form of artistic self expression that music is, to audiences across Europe and the globe.”

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