TRNSMT festival boss Geoff Ellis has defended the festival’s line-up for 2019, after it was criticised for hosting three male headliners.
The Scottish festival faced backlash on social media yesterday, after it was revealed that Stormzy, Catfish & The Bottlemen and George Ezra will all take top billing on Glasgow Green in July.
Another account claimed that female acts only accounted for twenty percent of the line-up, and showed the huge gaps that occur when women are removed.
Speaking to NME, Ellis said that the line-up reflects some of the biggest female names of the moment, and reiterated his commitment to “developing female artists” in order to make them the headliners of tomorrow.
“We try to have more females on the bill. Jess Glynne is a big artist and she’s there. Would I prefer to have more female artists on the bill? Yes. But it’s also about developing female artists to make them into headliners. We had Sigrid on the King Tut’s last year, but we’ve now upgraded her to the main stage,” said Ellis.
— Book More Women (@BookMoreWomen) February 18, 2019
The DF Concerts boss also explained how busy touring schedules played a part in the line-up for 2019 too.
“You’ve got people like Florence & The Machine who we would’ve been delighted to have as a TRNSMT headliner, but she’s coming in August so we’ve got her headlining two nights at Edinburgh Summer Sessions instead,” he said.
“We’ve got CHVRCHES headlining the Summer Sessions too, so it’s not that we’re ignoring female artists, but you can’t always get them on the weekend of your festival and sometimes you’ve got to get them at different points of the year.”
Honestly how in the name of god is there not a female headliner at TRNSMT, as if there’s not been sooooo many amazing female artists in the last year with Dua Lipa, Ariana Grande, HAIM…where’s the representation, even in the whole line up in general!!!!????
— ScottFaeScotland (@Tic_Ttocs) February 18, 2019
Geoff Ellis said this last year, and yet this year's TRNSMT features less female artists on the bill than in 2018. pic.twitter.com/rHMsxseotj
— craig williams (@glasgowmixtape) February 18, 2019
TRNSMT hasn’t booked a female headline act since it started in 2017. Enough spice boys pls where my spice girls at?
— Rachel Coburn (@rachelcoburn_) February 18, 2019
Not only is the TRNSMT lineup the single worst festival lineup I’ve ever seen, they’ve managed to reduce their female representation from 2018…
How do you fuck up THIS badly? pic.twitter.com/sxNKrWzAIw
— ? Thomas ? (@94TMW) February 18, 2019
Where are all the women acts for TRNSMT btw like 40 acts and could count the women acts on one hand probably
— chloe (@ChloeCarlinnn) February 18, 2019
Ellis added: “As an industry we can do more, and that includes providing a platform for female artists. It’s something we try to do with TRNSMT and giving that platform to the likes of Catherine McGrath, Jade Bird and Mahalia.
“When you’re looking at the TRNSMT headliners of the future, hopefully those acts will end up there. Jess Glynne will have a big crowd on the Sunday and so will Sigrid, but we’re definitely putting the acts on and it hasn’t been for lack of trying.”
As for the rest of the line-up, Ellis described rising Scots star Gerry Cinnamon as a “phenomenon” that reminded him of Oasis’ rapid ascent to rock royalty.
“Gerry Cinnamon is huge, I’ve not seen a phenomenon like Gerry since Oasis, in terms of his rapid ascendency. I remember when we had Oasis playing the King Tut’s tent at T in the Park and then they headlined Loch Lomond only a few years late,” he said.
“That trajectory hasn’t happened since, but Gerry, certainly in Scotland, is one on that same path. He could be selling out stadiums soon.