I haven’t conducted a thorough audit of all the festivals due to take place this summer (though I haven’t ruled out doing so), but I have taken a cursory look at a selection of those who have already announced their headliners.
While it can’t be said that an awful lot has changed in the way of gender equality and representation at music festivals, it is fair to say that a number of smaller festivals and promoters in the UK have at least begun to recognise the problem and take steps towards dealing with it.
In a bittersweet move, Manchester Pride have announced that their headliner this year will be Ariana Grande. Before the August Bank Holiday weekend though, Janelle Monáe will be headlining at Castlefield Bowl as part of Manchester International Festival on 4 July.
If you do want to see some great female headliners this summer, you’re perhaps better off looking to smaller one day festivals/big gigs such as British Summer Time, All Points East, Somerset House, The Downs Festival, Electric Picnic (which has now completely sold out of tickets) and Boardmasters.
British Summer Time will have festivals headed up by Celine Dion (5 July), Barbra Streisand (7 July) and Florence + The Machine (13 July) this summer.
All Points East have Christine and the Queens headlining in Victoria Park, London on 26 May. Chris is also playing Parklife in June, along with Cardi B, but most tickets have sold out now
If you don’t fancy seeing Ariana Grande at Manchester Pride on August Bank Holiday weekend, there’s also the option to head over to The Downs Festival on 31 August to see Ms Lauryn Hill, Grace Jones, Neneh Cherry and many more.
We have a number of exciting albums and EPs due for release in April, including by the startlingly talented Ioanna Gika whose debut album Thalassa is released on 5 April, a busy release day, which also sees new stuff from Jasmine Thompson (Colours EP), Holy Moly & The Crackers (their debut LP, Take A Bite) and Charlotte Cornfield (new album The Shape Of Your Name).
Melissa Etheridge returns with a new album on 12 April, The Medicine Show, and she shares her release day with Farhan (Echoes) and girl group tinged singer/songwriter Jess Ribeiro (Love Hate).
On 19 April psych indie dance innovators Stealing Sheep return with a new album, Big Wows, and are joined by Sharon Van Etton collaborator Heather Woods Broderick with her new album, Invitation.
We end the month with a new SOAK album, Grim Town, and Jackie Mendoza’s Luvhz, which are both coming out on 26 April.
Hockeysmith will be supporting TVAM at the Bristol Thekla on 14 April, and you can also catch her on 26 May at Poltimore Festival in Cornwall and again on 10 August at Boardmasters Festival in Cornwall, supporting headliners Florence + The Machine. Jade Birdalso has some dates in April.