We were invited today to the pre-festival press event for Leeds Festival which took place at The Old Chapel Studios in Leeds.
We were told beforehand that this event would be the launch of an exciting new venture for Festival Republic titled 'ReBalance' and we weren't told much more than that which led to us all speculating on what it could be.
Melvin Benn, managing director of Festival Republic, was on hand to let the cat out of the bag on what is arguably the most controversial topic in modern day music and how he aims to combat it.
Sexism/Lack of women in the music industry.
ReBalance is a scheme devised by Festival Republic and the PRS Foundation aimed to bring more females into the music industry, be that by band or from a production side of things. It also entails an apprenticeship scheme to give women a head start to develop in the industry.
Along with the apprenticeship it was announced that, through a nomination process, bands or artists with a core female input (where a female is responsible for at least 50% of the writing or producing process) would be eligible for a full week's recording with all expenses paid and a slot on one of the many festivals run by the company to help give the band/artist a step up, along with this many record labels have jumped on the scheme to also be involved and guarantee that the music is listened to and considered for the labels.
Speaking at the launch Melvin Benn made note about how the issue had long been on his mind and that he wasn't really sure on how to tackle the issue stating “Something needs to be done about gender equality in the music industry. It’s a wider issue that involves us (the live industry) but the solution doesn’t rest only with us. I have decided to be proactive in changing and working towards this no longer being an issue in the future, and that’s what this project is about."
It was also made perfectly clear that there would be no application process for the artists and instead it would be through a channel of recommendations from within the industry.
Also speaking at the event was Vanessa Reed, CEO of the PRS Foundation who showed admiration towards Melvin Benn for using his position to create ReBalance.
*We look forward to helping Festival Republic to deliver this important and exciting programme and to following the results of the monthly studio sessions planned. We need more male leaders like Melvin Benn to recognise the ongoing gender gap in music and to use their position to do something about it. Coming up with campaigns and initiatives like ReBalance, will ultimately strengthen our industry and be of benefit to us all.”
We are sure there will be many, many more updates on ReBalance in the coming months and we will be on hand to deliver those to you as and when they happen. In the meantime it is great to see that things are finally in motion to bring balance back to the music scene and we are on target to further develop it.