A quick glance at the bands that have been announced for Warped’s 2014 tour, which started June 11 in Anchorage, Alaska, reveals that less than 20 percent of the 120-plus acts include at least one female. Women are there — the line-up includes Mixtapes, Sleeper Agent, the Summer Set, K.Flay and Allison Weiss — but if you count the female population of the bands on an individual level, women make up only 6 percent of the tour.
Megan took the complaint to Warped Tour founder Kevin Lyman, who reacted with defensiveness. Lyman thinks the fact that just one out of six bands on the tour have a female member is "absolutely OK." He also explains that more bands in the world are made up of men. On Twitter, Lyman argues "B good & you might get on! If I have to start counting races & genders it is over."
Lyman's defensiveness is thick with fallacies. You know why more men than women are in bands around the world? Because it's easier for men to form, promote, and tour with their bands. Women have to cut through a lot of sexist bullshit—resistance from promoters, resistance from men in media and on record labels and on the internet—in order to just get their band to the place where a male-fronted band starts out. There are a lot more female bands now than there were fifty years ago because women are more empowered, and also because there are a hell of a lot more role models to encourage young women to get into music than there used to be. And because society is still weighted toward male musicians, it's the responsibility of programmers to try to represent more women, so the next generation of young women will have even more role models to be inspired by.
I understand it's not fun to be called on your bullshit. But to immediately dismiss charges like this out of hand results in ugly, defensive thinking. And other people will back up your ugly, defensive thinking with ugly, abusive comments. And then you wind up saying stupid, racist things like the fact that your business is "over" if you have to consider maybe not overloading your music festival with a bunch of white dudes. Nobody is going to remember you "winning" what you perceive to be an internet fight with the help of your idiot minions. A whole new generation of musicians could be grateful for years to come if you seek out and support diversity in your music festival. Why is that such a terrible fucking thing?