“Cock am Ring” and Kebekus: For more women at festivals

Nürburg/Cologne.

After years of forced Corona break, the big rock festivals are back on stage. Now at the weekend it’s the twin spectacles “Rock am Ring” in the Eifel and “Rock im Park” in Nuremberg (June 3-5).

The organizers expect more than 160.000 Fans. Around 70 bands want to heat them up. Headliners are Green Day, Muse and Volbeat. But when long manes are shaken on each of the three stages, there are rarely women’s heads underneath.

Purely female protest festival

Comedian Carolin Kebekus (70) wants to protest against the low proportion of women at numerous rock spectacles with an all-female festival on Whit Monday in Cologne – just one day after “Rock am Ring” and “Rock im Park”. At the start of this double open air on Friday, the band Kochkraft through KMA and the feminist music label Ladies & Ladys want to draw attention to the fact that festivals are dominated by men with another project. They have won Minister of State for Culture Claudia Roth (Green Party) as their patron, a long time ago manager of the political rock band Ton Steine ​​Scherben.

24 Female-predominant acts have covered songs by male bands from this year’s or previous “Rock am Ring” programs. Your sampler called “Cock am Ring” should be available on Spotify and other download and streaming platforms from this Friday, as announced by Kochkraft through KMA and Ladies & Ladies. They range alphabetically from Annelu with “Starlight” by Muse to tape recorder with “Purple Clouds” by Materia.

Criticism of festivals: “Hair-raising overweight of men”

In the announcement of the voluntary project, there is talk of a “hair-raising predominance of men” at many festivals. “Guys, dudes, guys as far as the eye can see! On average, the proportion of women appearing at “Rock am Ring” is in the solid single-digit percentage range.” Why? “Men book men,” it continues. It’s easier for them to sign bands they already know, and those are male groups.

There are by no means too few rock musicians of stature. Or, as KMA and Ladies & Ladies ask ironically, is the lack of money the only problem? All proceeds from their sampler would therefore be donated to the organizers at the Nürburgring. “With the money they can hopefully afford a little more diverse participation for “Rock am Ring” 2023,” it continues.

Kebekus: Signal for more visibility of women on stages

Kebekus said in the podcast “Talk mit K” of the “Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger” at the end of April: “I I’ve been to “Rock am Ring” quite often and have experienced amazing bands. But when you see that the proportion of women on stage is approaching zero this year, that just can’t be. It works 2022 no longer.” She can no longer hear the argument that there are too few women’s bands. “They have to be encouraged, just like male musicians.” At their Cologne festival on Whit Monday only with female artists, Lea, the No Angels and Mine are on stage. Around the 5000 visitors are expected, according to the Kebekus spokesman. Men are also invited. It’s about a signal for more visibility of women on stages.

“Rock am Ring” organizer: Many women away from the stage

The head of the “Rock am Ring” tour operator Dreamhaus, Matt Schwarz, explains: “Carolin Kebekus addressed an important topic that we are also dealing with.” He refers to the producers and other women who made the festival possible in the first place: “We filled central areas and management positions at “Rock am Ring” with women, from event and festival management, ticketing, marketing and PR management to the complete festival production office, the accreditation team and various production managers of the individual stages began.” However, it is also clear “that a festival cannot implement diversity on its own”. Structural action by all players such as record companies, band management and the media is necessary for this.

Roth: Grant female artists “necessary space in the program”

Minister of State for Culture Roth, in turn, sees organizers as having a responsibility to “meet the changed expectations in our society by specifically promoting many exciting and successful artists and giving them the necessary space in the programme The fans don’t like it anyway.” In order to change something, “every initiative that focuses on music by and with women is important.”

There will probably not be a lightning change here. Music sociologists and music pedagogues refer to very traditional structures. For example, little girls would be encouraged to learn the flute, violin or piano rather than drums, electric guitar or electric bass. Bands are mostly formed by boys. And the rock music industry is characterized by male producers. (dpa)

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