The team behind SMIRNOFF is tackling gender inequality in urban music head-on at this year’s Wireless Festival. Curated by Rinse FM, Smirnoff House will feature an all-female line-up, with hosts Julie Adenuga and Emerald joined by artists including Lady Leshurr, Quay Dash, Bad Gyal, Paigey Cakey, Trillary Banks, Barely Legal and Work It DJs.
We all know the disparity is real – FACTS, a bi-annual study of festival lineups across the UK and Europe by Female:Pressure, showed that in 2017 women still only accounted for 19% of festival headliners. Smirnoff Equalising Music is an initiative designed to effect real, top-down, industry-wide change.
The latest move is perhaps the boldest yet, coming in direct response to the controversy surrounding the 2018 lineup of Wireless – London’s leading urban music festival.
When the line up was revealed earlier this year, despite tickets selling out in 24 hours, many highlighted the lack of women on the line up. The story was a springboard for a vital discussion. Why should it be so hard to populate a festival lineup with women in hip-hop, grime, and R&B? Why do we so rarely see women represented in urban music on the highest level?
The stage is set to be hosted by two leading voices in UK radio: Beats 1 anchor Julie Adenuga, and Rinse FM Drive time host Emerald.
Day 1 sees sharp-tongued Hackney MC Paigey Cakey and Leicester’s Trillary Banks perform, alongside Rinse FM’s Emerald and UK collective Work It DJs. Day 2 brings Bad Gyal, the twisted reggaeton artist from Catalonia who brings melancholy into her thrilling dancehall-influenced melodies, along with party-starting club/hip-hop DJ Siobhan Bell. MOBO award-winning Birmingham MC Lady Leshurr will lead the line-up on Day 3, joined by Quay Dash, the boundary-smashing rapper from the Bronx who channels Lil’ Kim in her fearless, classic New York hip-hop.
Plus, across the three days, London DJs A.G, Alia Loren, Amz, Barely Legal, Eliza Rose, Girls of Grime, Jetsss, Jyoty, Manara, Shy One and Tiffany Calver will all bring breakneck sets of grime, garage, and cutting-edge club sounds, taking the pulse of London’s nightlife and bringing it to the heart of Wireless.
Tune in to Rinse drive time (1600-1900 hrs) to hear a week of special Equalising Music programming kicking off 9th July, plus 12 hours of highlights from Wireless on Saturday 14th July.