Nottingham To Hold Women in Music Event to Tackle Inequality in the Industry

Sunday March 4, 2018

This week marks International Women’s Day and combined with the continued growth of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements and discussions surrounding gender imbalances within the music industry, our friends over at DHP are organising an exciting event – Women in Music.

Taking place at Rescue Rooms, the event on 7 March will address the gender imbalance in the music industry, with the aim of creating an environment for discussion and a platform for positive change.

The Women in Music event is open to people of all genders and at all levels of their careers. The evening will feature a keynote interview and panels discussing what challenges women currently face; what businesses can do to improve diversity and look at what is being done currently to drive change. There will be networking drinks post-event for attendees to meet each other and continue discussions.

Tickets are £5, but as a students you can get buy yours for just £3. All proceeds from the night will be donated to Equation, a Nottinghamshire charity dedicated to ending domestic abuse and sexual violence. Book your ticket now.

Panel speakers confirmed so far include:

  • Helen McGee – Divisional Manager, Operations at Academy Music Group;
  • Zoya Rossi – Production Manager, The Borderline;
  • Dom Frazer – owner, The Boileroom;
  • Tre Stead – Tour Manager (Frank Turner);
  • Anwyn Williams, Marketing Manager, DHP Family

There will also be a conversation between BBC Nottingham radio show presenter Verity Cowley and singer-songwriter Nina Smith.

Also attending the event is Carlina Gugliotta – Tour Manager for London Grammar and Adele – who earlier on Wednesday 7 March will be speaking to our students as part of Industry Week. The interview, conducted by Justin Turford, will cover her experience on managing high profile tours and is titled ‘Life on the Road with Adele and London Grammar‘.

One of the organisers of the event is DHP Head of Marketing Kelly Bennaton, and we caught up with her to talk about her experience within the industry.

Tell us a bit about yourself and your career so far?
I’m currently the Head of Marketing at DHP Family, a national concert promoter, festival organiser and venue operator. Prior to working with DHP Family I have worked for the Association of Independent Music, Festival Republic and Parallel Lines Promotions as well as running my own music promotion company. I’m also an advocate for women’s rights and have been volunteering with local women’s charities in Nottingham for over 4 years.
Festival line-ups have been criticised for their lack of female acts – what are your views on gender equality at festivals?
I think it’s incredibly important to have gender equality at festivals. We know that sexism and misogyny do not exist in a vacuum and are very much dictated by the culture that we consume. By not having women represented on festival bills we are effectively sending out the message that women’s art is not as important as that of men’s & this simply isn’t the case.
What has been your experience as a woman in music?
I’ve been incredibly lucky in that I’ve had some amazing female mentors throughout my career and currently I work with some really talented and lovely women. As an independent promoter though I’ve had many experiences of being talked down to and not being taken seriously. I’ve heard some real horror stories of how other women have been treated though, and feel privileged that I work for a company that takes this seriously.
Have you seen any changes within the industry since the beginning of the #MeToo movement?
I think it’s really helping to give people the courage to talk out about their experiences, the sense of solidarity amongst women is inspiring and hopefully men will see this as a sign that they can’t continue to get away with abusive or intimidating behaviour. There’s still much to be done though and I think this is only the start of what I hope will be a significant change.
What advice would you give to our female students looking to start a music career?
I’d say focus on the area you would like to get into and reach out to other women working in that side of the industry. A lot of the music industry is based on relationships and contacts, so networking and experience is really important.

Are you interested in Music Performance or Live and Technical Events? Book onto one of our future open days and explore our fantastic facilities.