When it comes to gender equality, techno culture seems to remain reactionary since decades to a great extent. There is a serious shortage of female DJs and producers present among both line ups and music media, even though women have been making electronic music since its very beginning.
The much appreciated event series “Bliss“ booked almost completely equalised (49 % men and 51 % female identified artists) and thereby prove that this is realisable and doesn’t lead to a lack of line up quality. Talking to the main woman behind Bliss (Marlene Engel), I wanted to know if this quota emerged intentionally. It might be surprising to many people that it was never Marlene and her crew’s intention to reach this kind of result. Creating the line ups for their events they would never think specifically to book a certain number of female identified artists. It rather emerges from the musical aspiration for the evening and the homogeneity of the line up. Marlene claims that if you devote yourself to contemporary electronic music it would be almost impossible to not book female identified artists. To create exciting events, you would always need to look further - behind the hyped, Eurocentric and male dominated system. The most interesting content she finds in minority artists who stand at the edge of this system.
I will continue to analyse selected events on a regular basis. This shouldn’t come across as a hateful threat; this is one step closer to making this issue more visible. A step to encourage you to think more about contemporary electronic music, diversity and equality. And of course, I want to see if there can be some change during time.
“Visibility is everything”
Also high-quality festivals such as CTM, Norbergfestival, Volt, TodaysArt or Tuffest prove that presenting a great number of female identified artists is a thriving venture.
And in the end, when female identified artists and promoters are included equally in the music business this yet can only enhance and foster the electronic music scene.