HearHer Festival: Celebrating Women in Music
DIVA Music Festival was a three day event with an all-female lineup which I launched two years ago in partnership with DIVA magazine.
Our first festival took place in Great Yarmouth in December 2018. Headlined by KT Tunstall & Gabrielle, 24 artists played to a packed out crowd across two stages.
Because of the energy and excitement at that inaugural festival, KT has come on board as an ambassador, curator and all-round friend of our festival, and I’ve been working alongside her to make the next event even more successful.
To do this, we felt it was important to recognise the broad appeal of a festival for all women, and expand its reach beyond the queer community which DIVA magazine proudly serves.
This is why we are now HearHer Festival, an event which supports women in music, regardless of sexuality, at a grassroots level, giving them a platform and a voice.
Our festival will be a safe space for everyone. HearHer Festival is a celebration of women in music. It’s a space full of like-minded people; collaborative, welcoming and kind. Feedback from last year shows that artists and audience alike cherished this aspect of our festival and so we want to continue that.
Why HearHer? Because female artists make up just 19% of music festival lineups. That’s not good enough. And so we are working in conjunction with Keychange at PRS, an initiative which now has hundreds of festivals signed up to having a 50/50 gender split on festival bills by 2022.
HearHer is more than just a weekend of music: HearHer is part of a movement.
We want to do more than just putting women on the bill. We want to be able to give artists bursaries toward their record production costs. It’s a subject close to my heart, as I was significantly affected by the collapse of Pledge Music – an artist crowdfunding platform which went bankrupt earlier this year – so I know how important this issue is. I want to make sure artists don’t have to go through this heartache.
HearHer also wants to programme events across the country, introducing new artists to new audiences. We want to take artists, producers and sound engineers into schools, to inspire the next generation of women coming through into music.
Last year, we had iconic, established women in music as our headliners, KT Tunstall and Gabrielle.
This year, we’re proud to have secured brilliant, uber-cool artists Shura and SOAK, who will be headlining Friday and Saturday respectively.
On Sunday we have X Factor and Eurovision alumni Saara Aalto, and fresh from supporting P!nk on her European stadium tour, Bang Bang Romeo will be rocking it out in our main arena.
With 24 acts so far, the bill is looking really strong, and we’re proud of the festival we’ve programmed.
Going forward into year three, we want to grow even more, and create as broad an appeal as possible – all genres, all ages, all women.
I hope you can join us on our journey and HearHer.
Together, we’ll change music for the better.