Reading and Leeds’ 2015 lineup features a grand total of eight female acts

With over 100 artists already announced, UK rock festival draws criticism for male-centric lineup

Azealia Banks

Photo by Michael Zonenashvili

UK’s massive rock festival Reading and Leeds has announced new additions to its 2015 lineup, including The Libertines, Kendrick Lamar, Tyler the Creator, Mastodon, Hudson Mohawke, and Jamie xx. These names join previously announced artists including Metallica, Mumford and Sons, Refused, deadmau5, and Run the Jewels.

Anyone sensing a trend here? As several on social media pointed out following today’s announcement, Reading and Leeds’ 2015 lineup is barren of female artists. Of the nearly 100 acts currently slated to perform at the festival, only eight feature women. There are two solo acts, Azealia Banks and Hannah Watts, the all-female Little May, and the rest are bands that include at least one female member.

It’s even more striking when presented in GIF form:

reading leeds

Incidentally, just last month, Reading and Leeds founder Melvin Benn disputed claims that festival lineups are too male dominated. “The idea that female bands are sidelined as a suggestion is just not there,” Benn said. “The truth is that there has been an historic lack of opportunity for young women to get into bands and to be in bands, and I think that has disappeared now.”

He continued: “For me it’s never been about the gender of the band, it’s been about the quality of the band, and I think increasingly female bands, female-fronted bands, entirely female bands, mixed bands … they’re just forever on the increase now, and gone are the days where a band was four guys. That’s gone now. It’s genuinely gone.”

Emphasis: genuinely gone.