Nearly six in seven festival headline slots are being filled by all-male acts

It's the same proportion as nearly 10 years ago

An investigation into music festivals has revealed that headline spots are consistently failing to reflect the diversity of music in the UK.

The investigation, which was carried out by the Press Association, found that roughly six in seven headlining slots are being filled by all-male acts, which is exactly the same proportion as 10 years ago.

The study also found that only a third of headliners feature at least one black, Asian or minority ethnic (BAME) performers, despite half of 2017’s number one singles coming from BAME artists.


And from 321 headline acts at the UK’s biggest festivals over the last 10 years, only 89 included one member who was BAME and just 47 who were all-female or one woman.

PJ Harvey
PJ Harvey will headline Green Man Festival

This year, PJ Harvey and Pink will be leading the female charge as they headline Green Man festival and V Festival respectively.

The number of female headliners doubles when acts with at least one female member are accounted for – with Arcade Fire headlining the Isle of Wight Festival earlier this month and The XX headlining Bestival in September.

Specifically, the investigation stated: “Green Man scored best for the number of female artists with just under one in three headliners including at least one woman, yet just 9% of those were BAME.

“80% of Glastonbury’s headliners in the past decade have been men and 70% have been white.


“Download’s top artists have been 100% male.”