The aim of the present survey was to assess the gender distribution among artists performing at electronic music festivals around the world.
Specifically, we wanted to
- assess the female-male-mixed gender proportions among artists performing at electronic music festivals taking place in the year 2015 up to mid-year of 2017 with focus on the year 2016
- assess time trends in female-male-mixed gender proportions from 2012 to 2017
- assess differences in these female-male-mixed gender proportions for regions and countries.
Data was collected for all countries worldwide with no restrictions. However, the focus was on festivals taking place in Europe and North America. We used a standardised online form to collect single sets of data for each festival edition.
The survey’s focus is on electronic music. Festivals were included if they feature a mainly electronic music program. However, once a festival was included into the survey, all acts were counted [regardless of their musical genre]. Potential festivals were searched for online. The search was performed on [but was not limited to] the following sites:
For each festival, the following data were collected
- Name of festival
- Number of female acts in the line-up
- Number of male acts in the line-up
- Number of mixed [female/male] acts in the line-up
- Number of unidentified acts in the line-up
The number of acts were counted per slot of stage time. For example:
- Dasha Rush & Donato Dozzy back-to-back DJ-set: categorized as 1 mixed act.
- Electric indigo & Thomas Wagensommerer a/v set: categorized as 1 mixed act.
- Lucrecia Dalt & Gudrun Gut live: categorized as 1 female act.
- ‘Acts’ include musical and visual artists [if listed in the line-up], with the exception of CTM [Germany] which also includes panel and discourse acts.
For the purpose of this survey, gender data is distinguished and collected only as male or female. Transgender artists are assigned according to their chosen gender. If the gender of a trans person is difficult to decide, the person should be listed according to the pronoun s/he uses for themselves. In addition, articles about the artist might be checked to judge, if this person is generally referred to as she or he. Cis male artists with female aliases / monikers were regarded as male artists. In cases which could not be resolved, artists were assigned ‘unidentified’.
Data was provided by Trouble Makers members, by female:pressure members, or by festival organisers. Festival organisers were emailed a standardized letter explaining the background and the purpose of the survey along with an invitation to enter their festival data into a short online form. To minimize data entry errors, we were able to verify about one third of all festival editions by double data entry.
Data was analysed descriptively. Female, male, mixed, and unidentified gender proportions are presented numerically and graphically: overall, by year, country, and by region. In addition, trends in time for specific festivals [with data for several time points] are presented. Mean [i.e. average] percentages are calculated by adding the number of acts for the specific gender divided by the total number of acts [times 100] for each festival. Due to rounding, numbers presented throughout this document may not add up precisely to 100%. Festivals were also categorized and analysed by size [defined by the total number of acts]. To see if gender proportions depend on the size of the festival we used the number of total acts to categorize festivals into 3 groups: small [up to 25 acts], medium [26-50 acts], or large [more than 50 acts], as well as into 5 more refined groups: very small [less than 20 acts], small [20-29 acts], medium [30-45 acts], large [46-90 acts], or very large [more than 90 acts].