Only 1% of dance music played on UK radio is created by female and non-binary artists, reveals new report

Jaguar Bingham
Jaguar Bingham. (Image credit: Burak Cingi/Redferns)

It’s widely accepted that electronic music has a gender equality problem, and further evidence of this has been presented in a new report by The Jaguar Foundation: Progressing Gender Representation In UK Dance Music.

The foundation was set up by Jaguar, a DJ, broadcaster and Radio 1 host who previously created the Future 1000 DJs programme with Future DJs in a bid to nurture female, trans and non-binary talent in dance music.

Its debut report echoes previous research in concluding that there’s a lack of mainstream representation for female and non-binary artists. Writing in The Guardian, Jaguar revealed: “When we analysed data from the Official Charts Company, just 5% of dance songs were made exclusively by women and non-binary artists”.

That figure dropped to a lowly 1% when it came to radio play, while it was found that only 28% of artists at electronic music festival lineups were female or non-binary, dropping to 15% if you only consider larger festivals. Female and non-binary headliners, meanwhile, were almost nowhere to be seen.

Focusing on this last problem, one of the recommendations of the report is that artists - particularly big-name male ones - have an inclusivity rider that stipulates that they’ll only appear on a line-up if there is at least one other woman, trans or non-binary person or a person of colour on there, too.

The report also indicates that more needs to be done to improve safety for women and non-binary people at electronic music events, and to address the problem of the ‘male gaze’, which sees women in music being judged more on their appearance and age than men are.

You can find the full report on The Jaguar Foundation website, and further information is available on the Future 1000 website. 

Ben Rogerson

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it. 

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