The Manchester organisation launches a project to reduce the gender gap, while helping female musicians in the north of England
Since 2011, Brighter Sound has been trying to remedy the gender gap in the music industry, after noticing a lack of female participants in the organisation’s programs. The result is the Both Sides Now project, which offers incentives for women in music, and those looking to break into the industry.
The three-year project will launch on 19 November and has support from Arts Council England’s Ambition For Excellence fund. Both Sides Now will provide opportunities for emerging talent through residencies, apprenticeships, and conferences, with residencies being led by Beth Orton, Imogen Heap and Anna Meredith.
“For me”, says Orton, “Both Sides Now stands for a space where you can feel free to create music you feel excited to explore, a language you get to define for yourself and not to be defined by.” Brighter Sounds define the terms ‘women’ and ‘female’ as anyone who may identify as non-binary, cis-gendered, or trans.
While areas of music like the UK Top 40 Album Chart is still a male-dominated environment, the queer DIY scene in London is one example of how women are finding a growing support network. And with those London bands breaking out beyond the Watford Gap at every opportunity, this latest project is looking to add momentum to the cause.
Earlier this year the results of a survey by the UK Music Diversity Taskforce revealed women between the ages of 25 to 34 account for 54.5% of the industry’s workforce. However, this number drops to 41.4% in the 35 to 44 age range and to 32.7% between 45 and 64.
Unfortunately, the overall split of men to women is 53.6% to 45.3% showing women are slightly underrepresented in comparison with the UK population (49.3% to 50.7%).
You can find details on how to get involved in Both Sides Now here.