TRNSMT Festival faces backlash over dedicated new stage for female acts

Organisers of Scotland's biggest outdoor music festival have been hit with a backlash after creating a new stage for female acts in response to criticism over a male-dominated line-up of headliners.

TRNSMT unveiled an all-male line-up of headliners, including Stormzy, Gerry Cinnamon, Catfish and the Bottlemen, Bastille, George Ezra and Snow Patrol.

Promoters DF Concerts have unveiled 18 acts who will be performing at a new Queen Tut's Stage at TRNSMT Festival next month under a drive to tackle what they admit is a "gender play gap."

The move, billed as "paving the way for female headliners," was announced just over a month before the festival takes place on Glasgow Green.

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Organisers were criticised by the Musicians Union when the main programme was announced in February when it emerged that female acts like Sigrig, Mabel and Jess Glynne - made up just 20 per cent of the line-up.

Lauren Spiteri, Lunir, Cara Rose, Scarlett Randle, Zoe Graham, The Eves, Tamzene and Deni Smith have all secured slots in the first year of the Queen Tut's Stage.

The initiative has been backed by a new campaign group, Scottish Women In Music, which was set up earlier this year to try to achieve a "level playing field" in every sector of the industry.

However there has been a mixed response to the announcement of the new stage, which the promoters described as "a real step in the right direction."

The music blog Highway Queens tweeted the festival to say: "Just book women on all the stages next time. Thanks."

The new Queen Tut's Stage at TRNSMT Festival has been billed as 'a real step in the right direction' by promoters DF Concerts.

Vicky Cowan tweeted: "Why not just have more female acts on the main stage? Not sure creating a 'lady-singer' stage will achieve what you want it to."

Jo Jones tweeted: "This is terrible. How lovely of you to give women a 'my first festival play stage' and not actual slots."

Posting on the festival;s Facebook page, Niall Sinclair said: "'Paving the way for future female headliners' aka, paving a separate road because they’re DIFFERENT and NOT MEN, aka not just making them headliners or like, on a main stage or a normal stage, but sitting at the Girls’ Table.

"Gender equality doesn’t mean gender segregation. Separate opportunities don’t mean equal opportunities."

Next month's TRNSMT Festival will feature headline appearances from Stormzy, Gerry Cinnamon, Catfish and the Bottlemen, George Ezra, Snow Patrol and Example.

When the line-up was unveiled in February DF Concerts chief executive Geoff Ellis said there was a need to "develop female artists to make them into headliners."

He also pointed out that female-led acts like Florence & The Machine and Chvrches had been booked for headline shows at the company's Summer Sessions event in Edinburgh in August.