New Coalition of Festivals Aims to Build Stronger Music Festival Industry Standards
A group of live music industry leaders have banded together to form the Coalition of Festivals. Their mission? Build a more equitable, diverse and sustainable industry standard for the music festival industry.
The group “steering committee” consists of Jonathan Azu (Culture Collective, Diversity in Music), Kyle Casey (Gravity Productions), Kierrah Matthews, Veline Mojarro (SHIFT Consulting), Katelyn Scott (Winter Circle Productions), Jen Stiles (Founders Entertainment), and Evan Tzeng (StayAltered).
In regards to the launch, a steering committee statement on their site reads:
“We deeply understood the cultural impact and influence of festivals. We acknowledged the privilege of organizing these transformational experiences. We also recognized the growing duty of addressing real-world ills and inequities within our own festivals.
We opened our discussion to include more leaders. All of us shared our hopes and concerns for how festivals returned. All of us also agreed on the urgent need for more community building, knowledge sharing, and critical training.”
According to a press release, these leaders are pursuing high-level diversity training and establishing communication channels with producers that will focus on best practices and partnerships with several social impact groups covering a range of initiatives. These social impact groups include A Greener Festival, Diversify The Stage, Diversity in Music, she said.so, SHIFT Consulting, and Well Dunn.
So far, the festivals who have committed to achieving the Coalition’s mission include Broccoli City, The Governors Ball Music Festival, Hulaween, Lightning in a Bottle, Outside Lands, and several AEG Presents festivals.
Production companies who have also chosen to be included are Do LaB, Founders Entertainment, Fox Pocket, Gravity Productions, Hula Holdings / Good Form, Old Soul Production Services, and Superfly.
Eventually, this coalition will aim to include artists, partners, communities at festival sites and fans in these conversations.
At the launch, the steering committee announced two program initiatives: Be The Change and Create Change. Together, the series of webinars and facilitated dialogues for producers, department heads and promoters will tackle a range of topics, including:
- building a culture of consent
- undoing toxic traditional workplace habits
- creating and amplifying educational programs and mentor programs for future music industry leaders
- eliminating barriers to the industry by providing opportunities for underrepresented communities (includes women, people with disabilities, BIPOC, and LGBTQ+ individuals)
Given the plethora of issues plaguing the music industry before a worldwide pandemic put a halt on the careers, goals and dreams of so many involved in the scene, it will be interesting to see what kind of real-world changes this coalition will be able to accomplish.