wellbeing news

This journalist tests festivals according to feminist criteria

… and reveals which festivals do particularly well.

Time since festivals is going well in the fall. The lack of a female presence in composing music is regularly criticized. You often read about sexist attacks. Nadia Shehadeh (39), a blogger and journalist, tested how feminist or how sexist rock and pop festivals are.

"Women's Festival Working Group"That's what Nadia Shehadeh and her campaign colleagues are called, not only that Line-upalso WC situationwho to eat and trading below the magnifying glass. The action is a joint initiative of the "rebel blog", "the girls team" and "pot feminism". There were also surveys among visitors after atmosphere did. The team wanted to find out: how many Mackertum and sexist outfits were there at festivals? interviewed Nadia Shehadeh:

NOIZZ: How did you come up with the idea of ​​testing how feminist or how sexist, rock and pop festivals work?

Nadia Shehadeh: Basically, the idea came from the need to have mostly male narratives, especially in the field of music journalism. It was important to us as women to go to festivals and bring our perspective. The topic of sexism is only one aspect. Women are interested in many other things as well, such as hygiene, the toilet situation and maybe even practical beauty tips. In addition, these are the basic issues of perceived security: Are there enough local people to contact if you feel uncomfortable? What is the situation in the camps?

NOIZZ: How many people are you at festivals?

We were currently with five women and a cinematographer at the Roskilde Festival; previously in off-duty couples, including Rock in the Park and Graspop in Belgium.

NOIZZ: How many festivals have you attended?

We will be coming to about seven festivals this summer.

NOIZZ: Sign up sooner or find out "secretly"?

Here we want to be transparent and work with the festivals, not against them. Our insights can add value to their future plans and even open the door for a new group of people.

At some festivals we were without official orders, but we skipped our findings. This is no different than the reporting that other media make – a focus on feminist views on festivals.

NOIZZ: What criteria do you evaluate at the festival?

We prepare differently for each festival. Security aspects, infrastructure and logistics play a role here. In addition, we look at the schedule, the number of visitors and when we are there, the mood on the plot. In addition, of course, aspects such as the sanitary situation, the offer of various stands, additional information booths, which are partly present at festivals.

NOIZZ: What factors from the setup to the toilet are taken into account?

Of course, a 50:50 reservation would be ideal for the squad. But we also understand when festival operators say they book the acts that are most in demand. Quotation due to quota is difficult. But still, depending on the genre, we must look to see if there is an equal female for every male act that has been reserved more.

Hygiene is a big topic. Especially when menstruating women get menstrual, it can be very annoying if there is no running water or functional showers. But even long queues at Frauenklos should be avoided if there were sufficient opportunities for evasion. There were also urinals for women in Roskilde, for example – which would actually be an example of good practice for other festivals.

NOIZZ: What is your definition of "Mackertum"?

When male festivalgoers take up a lot of space regardless of other visitors. In addition, the usual festival rituals such as: excessive consumption of alcohol, aggressive behavior in moss, cheering. We have actually found that depending on the composition of the band and the audience, the atmosphere of the crowd in the festival audience increases or decreases.

NOIZZ: The festival organizers wanted to provide you with the documents. Have you done this before?

We are currently in the evaluation phase for Roskilde and will then generally process our results and publish them as recommendations for action.

NOIZZ: How do you choose the visitors you talk to?

We searched for a conversation on our previous festival visits, especially on camps with visitors. As we qualitatively observe, there are no classical questionnaires distributed in masses. In addition, it can be said that it makes a difference whether we specifically have a mission and then have access to backstage, press space, etc. or go to a festival like normal people: with the privileges of work they can actually get there, very fine glasses. For example, if you enjoy all kinds of amenities with Media Pass and also use your own camping space, which is not an example for visitor areas. This is already clear to us and we are thinking about it.

NOIZZ: What do you have in mind?

At Roskilde, we noticed that the overall concept, which attracts visitors and encourages them to treat each other carefully, really works. Volunteer engagement and terrain design influenced the overall atmosphere. In fact, it makes a difference whether the festival program is sometimes an artistic or some political issue. And it encourages visitors not only to vegetate in the context of the well-known festival factors "sausage, beer, stage".

On the other hand, we find that festivals that appeal to less mainstream audiences as a whole have a good atmosphere and fewer moody guys. To anyone who attends a festival as a fan, there is music, not days of reckless guidance. Our impression of many of the metal festivals we have privately attended in recent years has been positive overall – from Wacken or Graspop, for example.

NOIZZ: What do you think is the best / worst festival?

This year the festivals have positively or negatively hit different points, that is, there are quite different aspects that one might call "particularly bad". At Rock im Park, for example, the composition was excellent, but unfortunately it was largely male dominated. Also, the audience was very exhausting in parts, also because one had typical figures, which we usually meet on bachelor's degrees. Organizationally, there was something wrong – for example, regarding the disastrous toilet situation, which was also a topic in the mainstream media. But we had great festival experiences at Roskilde, at Graspop and last year at Rolling Stone Park.

NOIZZ: What advice do you have for women who want to attend the festival?

It needs to be well prepared, inquiring about infrastructure in advance. It may also be helpful to see how the organizer deals with topics such as sexism, racism, etc. and what prevention is being done here. And of course, there is a lot going on with the setting, as it also helps decide who will draw the festival.