Smirnoff are tackling gender inequality in music head on with inspiring new initiative

Happy Mag issue # 4 is on the cusp of being birthed into the world. Once you get in into your grubby hands, inside you will find an excellent feature on the gender imbalance on festival bills around Australia. It’s topic that has been troubling us for a while, and evidently we are not the only ones.

Liquor giants Smirnoff are currently spearheading an initiative called Equalizing Music, a global effort with a goal of doubling the number of female-identifying headliners at major music festivals in three years, as Billboard reports.

equalizing music

Liquor giants Smirnoff are tackling gender inequality in music head on with an inspiring new initiative ‘Equalizing Music’.

Smirnoff aim to tackle the issue by going straight to the source, collaborating with tastemakers, industry influencers and festival curators to shift the gender imbalance at festivals around the world (with a focus on electronic events).

They are also planning on making a documentary called Smirnoff: Equalizing Music which looks to shed a light on some of the wider issues at hand.

“Smirnoff is tackling the problem of unequal opportunity in dance music from multiple angles: first by encouraging “key stakeholders” in electronic music to pledge their own support to help achieve gender parity;” reads the Billboard article.

“Second by working with two Vice platforms, Thump and Broadly, to celebrate females in the dance music industry with the “Top 50 Making Noise” list, which includes the Black Madonna, DJ Rachael, Cassy, Tokimonsta, Anna Lunoe, and many more. The final component of the initiative is Smirnoff: Equalizing Music, a documentary that intertwines the tales of the Black Madonna and DJ Rachael.”

“Smirnoff has a wide reach built into their business model and a desire to serve and protect and reflect women,” says DJ Black Madonna, who is collaborating with Smirnoff on the initiative, told Billboard Dance.

“A goal of this magnitude requires nothing less than a very organised, very high-level push from a lot of people in a lot of areas.”

Smirnoff has obtained commitments from several media outlets — in addition to Vice, Pitchfork signed the pledge, and Mixmag plans to make 50% of its cover stars female DJs going forward — streaming services like Spotify, airwave giants like iHeartRadio, the renowned London club Fabric, and promotion companies like Insomniac, all of whom agreed to support Equalize Music to varying degrees. Apparently more partners are pending.

Read more about this awesome initiative here via Billboard.

More information on the initiative can be found here.