Australian musicians and industry identities are coming out in support of Melbourne band Camp Cope, who reignited the debate over gender representation on festival lineups after calling out Falls Festival live on stage this week.
As reported, Camp Cope -- whose three members are all women -- used their performance at the Byron Bay leg of the touring Falls Festival to criticise promoters for "booking only nine women" on the lineup. Frontwoman Georgia Maq altered two lines in new single 'The Opener', singing "It's another man saying we cant fill up a tent, it's another f*cking festival booking only nine women".
The video was uploaded to the band's Instagram page with the caption "it's another festival saying we can't play a main stage", while another video of the same performance was captioned with "maybe they'll never get it (putting women higher on a bill)".
Many, including Camp Cope's own publicist, drew attention to the size of the crowd that the drew to their mid-afternoon performance, supporting the idea that the band would have been worthy of a more prominent slot on a bigger stage.
maybe camp cope should long-term-strategy a bigger crowd next time (📸 by ian laidlaw) pic.twitter.com/80DcETO18U— Genna Alexopoulos (@alphabettyy) January 3, 2018
This whole situation with Camp Cope is literal Groundhog Day. Remember when Amy Shark played GW McLennan at Splendour 2017 and half the bloody festival showed up at the tent!? Give! The girls! A go! pic.twitter.com/TKgzsDknWt— Eliza Barr (@ElizaJBarr) January 3, 2018
Falls Festival co-producer Jessica Ducrou said in a statement that gender balance was a "consideration" when booking lineups, but that it was "challenging". She said Falls had a "very conscious and strong agenda to book female talent" but claimed "it isn't always available to us at that headline level."
Music fans have criticised Falls' response, while musicians and respected industry figures have backed Camp Cope's stand. Former Triple J radio presenter Dom Alessio gave one of the strongest endorsements.
If Camp Cope are saying something, it's probably worth listening to. Their courage to always stand up for what they believe in is amazing and we're lucky to have them. Let's be more like them in 2018.— Dom Alessio (@domalessio) January 5, 2018
Current Triple J presenter Gen Fricker got behind the band's message:
Camp Cope had a bigger crowd than many mainstage acts at Falls. Saying there were no "headline level female acts" is untrue. There are, you just put em in the tent. https://t.co/gzmXb4YCmH— Gen Fricker (@genfricker) January 3, 2018
As did Adam Briggs, of rap group A.B. Original.
Other musicians including Kira Puru, Urthboy and Holly Throsby also got onboard.
Camp Cope are fkn sick but calling out misogyny in this day and age should not be controversial in any way. Why are more outraged at call outs than we are about little to no diversity or representation in our nations most prominent festivals?— Kira Puru (@kirapuru) January 3, 2018
Respect to Camp Cope. I hope this mess gets em 10000 new fans. Aust music is so much better for their courage ✊️— Urthboy (@urthboy) January 3, 2018
Few acts on the Falls lineup have so far backed Camp Cope's message, however. Tasmanian punk band Luca Brasi got on board:
As did Alice Ivy, whose risk in criticising the festival she had been booked to play on was even greater, because her record label Dew Process is run by the same people who organise Falls.
While DJ Nina Las Vegas, also lent support to the band's message about needing more women in prominent playing slots:
sorry but pretty tired of hearing that women weren't available / capable.— Nina Las Vegas (@ninalasvegas) January 4, 2018
But the band are still hoping other acts on the lineup will speak up as well:
where are all the big wigs of the australian music industry right now? step up you cowards. pic.twitter.com/SDHCATJZJt— Sarah Thompson (@slthomthom) January 5, 2018
encourage our fellow artists to stand up - @thekooksmusic@GlassAnimals@DUNERATSS@LUCABRASIAUS@MethylEthel@flumemusic@AlexLahey@smithstband@BadDreems@alldaychubbyboy@fleetfoxes@fosterthepeople@liamgallagher@Grinspoon@angusandjulia@pekingduk— Kelly-Dawn Kelso (@sideshowkelso) January 4, 2018
THE PERSON WEARING THIS SHIRT TAKES A STAND AGAINST SEXUAL ASSAULT AND DEMANDS A CHANGE. There have been numerous reports of sexual assault on ground at falls this year. Be brave. Stand with us. Call it what it is. We have some free gifts for falls artists & attendees. pic.twitter.com/n04wNwTXHr— Kelly-Dawn Kelso (@sideshowkelso) January 4, 2018
Camp Cope are still booked to play the final leg of Falls Festival, in Fremantle, this weekend.