The 1975 promise alliance

Michelle Doherty, Courier Staff

The band The 1975 just upped the ante on how to be a voice for female musicians. The 1975 is as progressive of a band as they come, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the frontman, Matty Healy has made a promise in the form of a tweet to only play festivals with a balance of gender performers on the show’s bill. If you’re wondering what this means and why it’s important to please read on.

Since the beginning of time, women have always been seen as inferior to men, but as time goes on, and the more women push back on their rights as humans, the more we progress as a society. It takes men like Matty Healy to recognize their stature in the world and act upon it as an ally.

The Guardian’s music editor, Laura Snapes exchanged tweets with Healy about the Reading and Leeds music festival indicating there is a heavy male lineup with a few female musicians, basically an unequal representation of artists.

The exchange started out with Snapes pointing out Reading and Leeds music festival’s Managing Director Melvin Benn “doesn’t give a s— about representation,” said Snapes. There was some confusion because Snapes linked an article about Rage Against the Machine’s announcement of the headlining Reading and Leeds festival this year. Snapes clarified and went on to specify, “Rage would be a dope booking if they used their leverage to demand equality on the bill. Any act with power that isn’t doing that, yet is speaking out against inequality, is failing to understand the game-changing role they could play in this situation.”

Followed by another tweet from Snapes, “do it MH [Matty Healy], add a condition to your rider that says you’ll only play festivals that commit to X% (ideally 50%) acts that include women and nonbinary performers.” To which Healy replied, “Take this as me signing this contract- I have agreed to some festivals already that may not adhere to this and I would never let fans down who already have tickets. But from now I will and believe this is how male artists can be true allies,” ending the tweet with a red heart emoji.

The power of social media has proved over and over again the social change our society needs in real time. Healy thanked Snapes for calling out and bringing attention to the inequality and responsibility male artists should uphold. “But times up man people need to act and not chat thanks for the kick up the a— snapes you’re making a difference,” tweeted Healy.

It’s an exciting time to be alive and witness this turn in history in the form of a newsfeed, with real ideas to promote change in our society. It makes me wonder if other predominant male artists will be as open and vocal about this change, or if they will turn a blind eye for fear they won’t be as demanding to be booked. Only time will tell, but for now, there is only hope and a promise from The 1975’s Matty Healy.