Confidence Man plays at Falls Festival in Byron Bay at New Years.
Confidence Man plays at Falls Festival in Byron Bay at New Years. Marc Stapelberg

Falls and triple j argue over number of females artists

FALLS Festival organisers, Secret Sounds, have hit back after a Triple J story stating that festival line-ups are still overwhelmingly male-dominated.

Triple J published last Friday a story saying that none of Australia's major touring festivals have reached gender parity on their line-ups in three years.

The story includes a graphic, created by triple j new program Hack, showing Splendour in the Grass and Falls Festival with 31 per cent of female acts or acts with at least one women in the line up in 2017, below Listen Out (37 per cent) and Laneway Festival (44 per cent).

On a post in social media, Secret Sounds said the numbers were 'miscalculated'.

"There has been plenty of debate around how diversity is counted. When it comes to festivals, triple j judge female representation on the first line-up announcement poster as the key criteria. We don't agree," the statement reads.

"In Falls Festival's case, they have not counted the entire line-up of each show and therefore excluded artists such as Haiku Hands, Jen Cloher, Stella Donnelly, Nina Las Vegas, Maddy Jane, San Cisco, WAAX, Hatchie, Wafia, Press Club, Jess Locke and others.

"Nor does triple j count guest singers with an artist, eg. AlunaGeorge appearing with Peking Duk at Splendour or key female band members who permanently play with male artists eg. Salliana Campbell with Bernard Fanning or Vika and Linda Bull with Paul Kelly.

"Failing to count women in bands because they are not listed on a first line-up announcement poster, or are deemed a touring member or guest vocalist, is in our opinion unacceptable, it's exclusive rather than inclusive."

Triple J published an editor's note today explaining some concepts in the story and correcting some of the information originally published.

Hack explained that to classify an act as "all male", "all female" or "mixed", they took into account the official members of the band.

"We acknowledge that bands sometimes introduce female touring members or guest vocalists on festival circuits and what the audience see on stage may vary," they said.

"However, to fairly analyse the public-facing line-up bill, we analyse artists as a whole on their official band members at the time of announce (we apply this same analysis when we analyse feature albums on triple j)."

Falls Festival was criticised on stage earlier this year by one of its female acts, Camp Cove, for its lack of female representation on its line up.

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