Falls Festival Is Copping A Backlash After Dismissing Criticism About Their Lack Of Diversity
"Good work idiots."
Falls Festival organisers are being roundly slammed for their tone deaf response to criticism that this year’s line-up lacked female acts.
Melbourne band Camp Cope used their recent set at Byron Falls to call out the festival’s lack of diversity, with singer Georgia Maq pointedly editing the lyrics in their song ‘The Opener‘ to say: “It’s another man telling us we can’t fill up a tent, it’s another fucking festival booking only nine women”.
In response, Falls Festival co-producer Jessica Ducrou supplied a statement to The Music yesterday, writing that while Falls has “a very conscious and strong agenda to book female talent, it isn’t always available to us at that headline level.”
“We book the best bands available at the time of booking taking gender balance into consideration, which can be challenging,” Ducrou wrote.
“We have a long term strategy, which is present on this year’s Falls line up, of giving opportunities to new and middle range female Australian artists, to nurture and grow the future pool of female headline options.
“We support the core message of gender balance and have been working towards a more balanced line up at Falls. We have seen other bands who are passionate about this topic go out and started their own events where they have total control of the line-up, with great success and we applauded their initiative. Taking control yourself, is a great way to effect change.”
Instead of quelling criticism, the statement further inflamed tensions across social media — with many accusing organisers of essentially taking a “if you don’t like it, do it yourself” position.
“if you want to see a representative lineup, do it yourself” – falls festival official statement https://t.co/tEJQr4avUu
— Shaad D’Souza (@shaaddsouza) January 3, 2018
News today: Camp Cope break the internet and Falls Festival’s PR team embarrass everyone with their sub par statement about mid-level female talent
— ? rave against the machine ? (@pixietitz) January 3, 2018
Falls Festival: “We have seen other bands who are passionate about this topic go out and started their own events… taking control yourself, is a great way to effect change.”
Translation: We know gender diversity in festivals is a problem but we’re not making it ours! https://t.co/eSQpgEbpGr
— Monique Myintoo (@aumonique_) January 3, 2018
#FallsFestival honestly couldn’t have given Camp Cope a better example of The Opener irl to point to like honestly what the hell are they thinking even defending themselves? Admit you’re wrong and do better
— new years emo ?️? ♊♏♊ (@aislina) January 3, 2018
Camp Cope drummer Sarah Thompson has since laid into them on Twitter.
the definition of irony is releasing The Opener vs yesterday ??? good work idiots, keep on doing what you’re doing ??????
— Sarah Thompson (@slthomthom) January 3, 2018
As Thompson points out, their new single ‘The Opener’ was penned to address the constant discrimination female acts face in the industry — its title a sly reference to venues booking female acts as openers just to fill up a quota.
Falls Festival wraps up in Fremantle this weekend.