There’s a rumbling on the streets of Bristol, and talk of change in more than just politics. From multiple Ladyfest gatherings, to the Festival of Ideas and Bristol Women’s Literature Festival; the city continues to address gender inequality in the arts.
Now, the music industry has joined in on the fun with the recent launch of the Bristol Women in Music initiative.
'We felt the need to pull together,' explains Lizzy Bowman, one of the founding members of Bristol Women in Music. 'I think it’s important in Bristol and the South West specifically because we are somewhat removed from the London scene, and the centralised hub where the majority of music business takes place.'
'The music industry can, at times, feel like a bit of an ‘old boys club’. We want to highlight and celebrate women who are doing amazing things to push music forward in their own unique and vibrant way.'
Launched in May with an evening of live music and spoken word at St George's , the movement now supports a wide range of programmes, from live performances to workshops and even apprenticeships.
To achieve their goals, BWIM work with multiple music industry professionals in Bristol. One such like minded maven is Rob McGee from booking agency, Electric Harmony.
'I've seen the likes of artists, promoters and managers stick their middle finger up to gender equality and smash through it, but it still seems to be a growing issue,' he says, drawing attention to the use of language in the industry. 'Foo Fighters are not an 'all-man band' so why should we class The Tuts as an 'all-girl band'. It's a dated way of thinking.'
Thanks to the hard work of Bristol Women in Music and individuals such as McGee, misconceptions, inaccuracies and stereotypes are slowly being addressed within the city.
Bristol Women in Music’s next event is an EP launch show for local quartet Rozelle on September 26.
This will be followed by an evening organised by Electric Harmony at the Louisiana, featuring alternative pop duo Rebeka, 'blitz pop' pair Curxes and Swedish born musician Akiine on September 27. More details can be found here.
Looking to the future, Bristol Women in Music also plan to host a music industry conference in March 2016, powered by women but open to all. The Bristol Women in Music website is still under development, but keep on eye on it for more details.
For more articles about the Bristol music scene, read some of the strangest places where bands have performed in Bristol and Five Bristol bands that never received the attention they deserved.