Reading & Leeds boss Melvin Benn addresses line-up criticisms

Festival Republic head acknowledged a lack of female artists on this year’s bill.

Photo: Sarah Louise Bennett

Festival Republic boss Melvin Benn has addressed recent criticisms that this year’s Reading & Leeds is lacking in female artists.

Speaking to NME while launching this year’s Latitude Festival in Central London, he addressed recent accusations that Reading & Leeds should do better to represent female acts.

“The facts speak for themselves in terms of female acts that were available at that time and that fit the Reading and Leeds bill. There’s nobody more committed to gender equality than I am, but I can’t make an act that isn’t there,” he said.

On this year’s bill, just one Main Stage act features a female member (Marmozets). The gender divide was pointed out by Crack in the Road this time last week.

“If you look at the Latitude bill, a very substantial amount of the acts are women or have female members,” said Benn. This year’s Latitude has one female headliner (Portishead), with Wolf Alice, Savages and La Roux also on the bill. “I can’t pretend we’re not conscious of it,” he said. “But we can’t put a bill together based on gender, we can only put a bill together based on availability and appropriateness.”

Latitude Festival runs from 16th-19th July, with Reading & Leeds taking place August 28th-30th on the Bank Holiday weekend.

Tags: Reading & Leeds, News, Festivals

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Love Festivals?

Subscribe here to receive regular updates from DIY on all things festivals.

Here comes the summer...

2024 Festival Guide

Featuring SOFT PLAY, Corinne Bailey Rae, 86TVs, English Teacher and more!

Read Now Buy Now Subscribe to DIY