hcmf// commits to 50/50 gender equality by participating in the Keychange Initiative from the PRS Foundation; a European initiative designed to influence music festivals to achieve a 50:50 gender balance of artists by 2022.

The Keychange Initiative comprises of over 45 participating international music festivals and conferences, all committed to challenging and shaping the future of the music industry. Programmes such as this are vital for representing women in an industry which currently takes up less than 20% of registered artists across the participating European countries, with pay gaps still remaining significantly imbalanced.

In line with the goals of hcmf//, the festival will continue to drive Gender Equality and Diversity of Communities, delivering innovative and inspiring workshops as well as events with the aim of supporting women and girls in the field of music and sound technology, locally and internationally.

As Rosie Hughes, hcmf// Festival and Development Manager, explains:

“hcmf// is proud to be part of the Keychange initiative, and to reaffirm our commitment not only to achieving gender equality in terms of work commissioned by the festival, premiered at the festival and soloists presented at the festival, but to providing an ongoing programme of activities designed to create opportunities for female music-makers and explore and challenge barriers to women choosing music as a career option. We’re so excited to take this vital step towards challenging the underrepresentation of women in the music industry, and especially to do so as part of such an inspiring community of organisations and festivals.”

With aspirations of eliminating issues surrounding gender in music, the future of the festival will feature a combination of iconic female composers and emerging new talents, pushing the boundaries of the music industry towards the empowerment of women and equality.