Photo by You can submit statistics for any festival’s 2016 lineup here.

You can view our 2016 Festival Report Card here.


As was outlined in the CBC Music Blog’s article “Dear Canadian Festivals: show us the women,” most Canadian festivals (large or small) are pretty abysmal at putting women on their stages, despite the overwhelming amount of terrific women performing in great bands or solo Canada today.

I think it’s time to hold their feet to the fire, and give them an annual report card on gender parity at their festival.  Ideally, I’d love to do this with venues and concert series as well, but festivals are a good starting point.

Would you be willing to take a look at your local festival and break down the 2014 numbers for us?
– how many acts total?
– how many acts are fronted by women?
– how many acts have women in the band, total (including frontwomen)?

You can either leave your results in the comments below, or email them to
Please email me the stats if you’d like them published anonymously; I’ll quickly vet the numbers you’ve provided before posting them under the ‘Anonymous’ account.
I will not reveal your name to anybody, for any reason.

If we get a dozen people looking at their local festivals across the country, we can get a really good sense of the national representation of women, and start talking to bookers and artistic directors about these numbers.

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12 Responses to Project: Festival report cards

  1. Rachel Barreca says:

    Summerfolk 2014
    – how many acts total? 48
    – how many acts are fronted by women? 20 (including groups that have multiple front-persons)
    – how many acts have women in the band, total (including frontwomen)? 24

  2. Anonymous says:

    I briefly crunched the numbers for gender parity for the Montreal Folk Festival:

    Montreal Folk Fest 2014
    Number of Acts: 22
    Number of musicians total: 42
    Number fronted by women: 9 (41%)
    Number of women: 11 (26%)

    Although in previous years it hasn’t been so great:

    Montreal Folk Fest 2013
    Number of Acts: 17
    Number of Musicians: ~40
    Number fronted by women: 5 (30%)
    Number of women: 10 (25%)

    I know we are starting with festivals only but I also crunched the numbers for the Wintergreen Concert Series (the only folk series in Montreal) and the results were pretty abysmal:

    Wintergreen Concert Series
    Number of acts: 12
    Number of musicians: 28
    Number fronted by women: 3 (25%)
    Number of women: 4 (14%)

  3. Anonymous says:

    Sappyfest 2014
    Number of acts: 37
    Number of acts fronted by women: 8 (21%)
    Number of women in acts, total: 15

    Wolfe Island 2014
    Number of acts: 20
    Number of acts fronted by women: 4 (20%)
    Number of women in acts, total: 12

    TURF 2014
    Number of acts: 44
    Number of acts fronted by women: 7 (16%)
    Number of women in acts, total: 19

  4. Candace says:

    Home County 2014 Music and Art Festival
    Total # of acts: 36
    # fronted by women: 20 (56%)
    # of women players: 33

  5. Anonymous says:

    Wavelength Music Festival 14 – Toronto ON

    24 performers over 4 days
    12 female-fronted or entirely female (50%)

  6. Meghan Sheffield says:

    Shelter Valley Folk Festival 2014
    Number of Acts: 19
    Number fronted by women: 4 (21%)
    Number of musicians total: 45
    Number of women: 5 (11%)

  7. Anonymous says:

    Shelter Valley Folk Festival
    Number of Acts – 17
    Number of Performers – 38
    Number of Men – 33
    Number of Solo Woman – 3
    Number of Duo Woman Acts – 1
    Number of Song Writer Showcase Winners – 3
    Number of Song Writer Showcase Winners that are Women – 0
    Percentage of Women – 13%

  8. Treasa Levasseur says:

    Hamilton Blues and Roots Fest

    Number of acts: 11
    Number fronted by women: 1 (9%)
    Number of women players total: 4

  9. Candace says:

    Peterborough Music Fest
    Total # of acts: 19
    # fronted by women: 4 (21%)
    # of women players: 6 (possibly more in one of the orchestras)

  10. Candace says:

    Winnipeg Folk Festival
    Total # of acts: 84
    # fronted by women: 34 (40%)
    # of acts featuring women players: 39
    # of women in acts: 62

  11. […] this! You can give us the stats on your local festival by submitting them to our ‘Festival Report Card‘ […]

  12. […] in 2014, we started collecting information from festivals around the country on the percentage of female-fronted…, and on the numbers of women in general on stage.  The results were depressing, but with some […]

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