Charli XCX Condemns Reading and Leeds Festivals for Failing to Book More Women

As she voices her frustration over the music events’ male-dominated lineup, the ‘Break the Rules’ singer calls for improvement on representation by record companies.

AceShowbizCharli XCX has slammed the organisers of the Reading and Leeds festivals for booking a male-dominated lineup.

Organisers of the U.K. music event have come under fire for their male-dominated bill, with only 20 female or mixed-gender acts announced as performers on Tuesday, February 12, and no headliners.

Speaking to U.K. music website NME at their annual awards bash on Wednesday, Charli condemned Reading and Leeds chiefs for failing to respond to past criticism over line-ups that have only featured one female-fronted headliner, Paramore, in 20 years.

“They just need to book more women, but the thing is that this conversation has been going on for so long,” Charli said. “I feel like this literally happened last year with Reading & Leeds.”

“The lineup came out and everybody was like, ‘There aren’t enough women on this lineup’. Nothing has changed. Nothing. What can be done? It’s our responsibility to talk about this and be as open as we can.”

However, she also believes record companies also have to act to improve representation, adding: “The change needs to come from the industry itself and the ground up. Yes, the festival needs to book females but the industry as a whole needs to recognise women working within it: producers, writers, A&Rs, executives, anything.”

In a separate chat with the Daily Mirror, Charli also hit out at BRIT Awards chiefs for the lack of female representation in their Album of the Year or Best Group categories.

“What the f**k is that about?” she raged. “It’s what everyone has been saying. Women don’t just deserve to be in the female categories, we’re not the subplot, the warm-up act, we’re the main event.”

Her criticism follows a promise by The 1975 frontman Matty Healy that his band, who headlined the event last year, will only play gender-balanced festivals.

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