New study shows 98 per cent of female artists suffer from performance anxiety

Artists said that “performing at new and unfamiliar spaces” as “the only female on the lineup” can be a cause of anxiety

A new study conducted by Pirate Studios has found that 98 per cent of female artists suffer from performance anxiety.

The global network of studios asked their community of live artists and DJs about what changes were needed in the gig circuit.

In a post on their website to mark International Women’s Day, Pirate revealed that many female artists cited gender as the reason for their feelings around performance anxiety. They wrote that they are “28 per cent more likely to experience this than their male counterparts”.

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The study mentioned one DJ who described her performance anxiety as coming from the perceived need to “compete” with male DJs, while another said that “performing at new and unfamiliar spaces” as “the only female on the lineup” can be a cause of anxiety.

A third DJ noted feeling isolated at gigs: “Being surrounded by men as a female in a male-orientated industry can cause anxiety, especially if they all know each other.”

The women that completed the survey gave suggestions on how the music industry might change in order to better support artists with performance anxiety. This includes greater diversity on line-ups, having more safe spaces for artists, and having drug and alcohol protocols.

One performer said: “Gigs should be made safer and more welcoming to diverse people. It is tiring for musicians to feel like they have to look out for fans because security is harassing women. It is difficult to make a stand against hate when your work and passion is on the line.”

Another added: “Give us a calm, stress-free space to get ready. A door that closes, good lighting, a mirror, a clean place to hang clothes and a safe space to store valuables would be very helpful.”

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The suggestions from the study will be discussed in greater depth at the ‘Break The Bias Panel’ with Vanessa Maria and TYSON, which takes place online on March 30. Find out more and sign up here.

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