Vanessa Reed is named by BBC as one of the most powerful women currently working in the music industry, behind only Beyoncé and Taylor Swift
Three years ago, SIM São Paulo adopted gender parity as one of the criteria for its programming, and since then, it has guaranteed a minimum of 50% of women in its showcases, panels and debates. The sixth edition of SIM São Paulo, from December 5th to 9th at Centro Cultural São Paulo, will feature Vanessa Reed, chief executive of the PRS Foundation, to talk about female empowerment in the music market.
The foundation’s mission is to fund new music and talent development, and one of its pillars is Keychange: an international campaign to invest in emerging female artists and encourage music festivals and conferences to match gender in their lineups.
Launched in March of this year, over 100 festivals around the world have joined the Keychange initiative and have pledged to achieve a 50:50 gender balance in their programming by 2022. MaMA Festival (France), Reeperbahn Festival (Germany), MIL (Portugal) and A2IM Indie Week (USA) are just some of the events that have adopted the pledge. Already participating from Brazil are No Ar Coquetel Molotov (PE), Rio Music Market (RJ), Subtropikal Festival (PR), and SIM São Paulo.
In 2017, Pitchfork did a research on diversity in festival schedules. Only a quarter of artists booked across 23 of the summer’s biggest festivals were female or groups with at least one female member.
This year, the site repeated the survey. Based on the festivals tracked in 2017 and 2018, female representation increased from 14 to 19 percent, while the percentage of groups with at least one female or non-binary member, held relatively steady at 11 percent. Although the numbers show a slight improvement, there is still a long way to go and this is one of Vanessa Reed‘s battles through Keychange.
Last week, iconic BBC radio programme Woman’s Hour revealed its fifth Power List, profiling the 40 most powerful women currently working in the music industry. The Keychange initiative secured third place in the list for Vanessa (the first two spots were occupied by Beyoncé and Taylor Swift). Woman’s Hour has published its Power List annually since 2013, focusing on a different theme each time.
Vanessa Reed will be in Brazil in December to participate in SIM São Paulo.