Women to get dedicated stage at TRNSMT Festival after gender balance controversy

Female musicians and bands led by women are to get a dedicated stage at Scotland's biggest music festival after it was criticised for failing to achieve gender balance in its line-up.

TRNSMT's organisers hope the advent of the Queen Tut's Stage will help encourage a new generation of female headliners to emerge.
TRNSMT's organisers hope the advent of the Queen Tut's Stage will help encourage a new generation of female headliners to emerge.

Organisers DF Concerts have vowed to help break down the "gender play gap" at its TRNSMT Festival by encouraging a new generation of female headliners.

They came under fire earlier this year when it emerged that it would have all-made headliners and only 20 per cent of the acts in its line-up were female.

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The Musicians Union said at the time that it was "disappointing to see such a male-dominated line-up."

The new Queen Tut's Stage, a nod to the promoters' famous concert venue King Tut's, will play host to at least 18 acts over the three days of the festival next month. The promoters described the move "as a real step in the right direction."

Acts like Lauren Spiteri, Lunir, Cara Rose, Scarlett Randle, Zoe Graham, The Eves, Tamzene and Deni Smith are among the acts to have been confirmed for the new stage at the Glasgow Green festival.

Its creation has been backed by a new campaign group, Scottish Women Inventing Music, which was launched in March to try to achieve a "level playing field for women across the industry, weeks after the TRNSMT line-up was unveiled.

DF Concerts, which said the Queen Tut's Stage would "pave the way" for female headliners, have given permission for the group to raise donations at this year's festival, as well as promote their aims and objectives at the event, which will also now feature Chlobocop, Sahara, Tongue Trap, Wet Look, Stephanie Cheape and Baby Taylah on the new stage.

Aarti Joshi, head of marketing at DF Concerts said: "The Queen Tut’s Stage is a very important addition to TRNSMT.

"As a company, we are committed to helping to close the gender play gap and at TRNSMT specifically, we have focussed on providing a platform for core female acts at a grassroots level to help them become the bill toppers of the future.

"Of course, as an industry, we have a long way to go but we feel this is a real step in the right direction.

Hillary Brooks, the musical director, arranger and composer who formed Scottish Women In Music, said: "We are a grassroots organisation partly inspired by Keychange, the international music initiative pledging 50:50 gender representation on festival and concert stages by 2022.

"I’m delighted that DF Concerts have invited us this year to promote, celebrate and support women artists at TRNSMT and to fuel the discussion of creating a more equal and collaborative industry."