The 1975’s Matty Healy pledges to only play festivals with gender balanced line-ups

"I believe this is how male artist can be true allies"

The 1975‘s Matty Healy has pledged to only agree to play festivals that commit to booking gender balanced line-ups.

It comes in response to criticism at the lack of female and non-binary performers on the line-up for the recently announced Reading & Leeds 2020 bill.

Responding to journalist Laura Snapes on Twitter, Healy said that R&L headliners Rage Against The Machine were a “dope booking” but agreed that “you are so right” regarding Snapes’ comment on the lack of non-male representation on the line-up.

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Snapes then tasked Healy to “add a condition to your rider that says you’ll only play festivals that commit to X% (ideally 50%!) acts that include women and non binary performers,” to which he replied: “Take this as me signing this contract – I have agreed to some festivals already that may not adhere to this and I would never let fans down who already have tickets.

“But from now I will and believe this is how male artist can be true allies.”

Healy continued in a separate tweet: “I’m sure my agents are having kittens right now but times up man people need to act and not chat thanks for the kick up the arse snapes you’re making a difference.”

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The 1975 headlined last year’s Reading & Leeds, and Healy went on to say that the festival would be an even better spectacle with more female performers.

“Point is that Reading and Leeds with more women would be honestly the best festival in the world that place is vibeyyy,” he tweeted. “Let’s not judge people and give the benefit of the doubt that people are going to start to listening. I can feel the change.”

Expanding on his comments in a new interview with The Guardian, Healy said: “It’s all about action. When it comes to big sociopolitical issues and governments are involved, sometimes action or protest can just be ignored.

“But when it comes to the music industry, we can change that. It’s not a geopolitical nightmare: it’s the music industry, and it’s something that if everyone gets on board, we can fix.”

The 1975's Matty Healy
The 1975’s Matty Healy performing at St Jerome’s Laneway Festival on January 27, 2020 in Auckland, New Zealand. Credit: Dave Simpson/WireImage

The 1975 are set to play a special closing performance at tonight’s NME Awards 2020 at London’s Brixton Academy.

The band have also received multiple nods in the full list of nominations for the NME Awards 2020, including Best Band In The World, Best Song In The World and Best Festival Headliner. Frontman Matty Healy was also recently named by NME as one of the key 10 artists who defined music in the last decade.

Also performing on the night will be Slowthai + Mura MasaAJ TraceyYungblud, Beabadoobee and FKA twigs.

Check back on NME.com for all the latest news, reviews, photos, interviews and action from the NME Awards 2020.

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