Wireless went down a treat with an extremely international crowd this weekend, enjoying a far wider fan base than just Londoners.
Headliners such as The Weeknd created a massive vibe on Sunday night, and throughout the days all the acts gracing the stages brought fun, excitement and positivity to Finsbury Park, so much good energy in fact that people were persuaded to invest in some very expensive drinks at the various bars (£9 for a double what is this!).
One noteworthy moment of the London festival was on Sunday where Abra Cadabra organised a minute silence for the victims and others affected by the Grenfell Tower disaster, and for Bradley Lowery, which was kind, tasteful, and a beautiful moment where festival chaos was paused in memory.
Aside from this, and all the other successes Wireless brought, from the hot tunes, beautiful weather, and of course the talented performers, there was one thing was disappointing about the festival - the lack of ladies up on stage.
The line up consists of around 50 artists on 2 stages over the 3 days of the festival. Out of these 50-odd, only 4 were women.
This lack of diversity in gender was extremely noticeable, not only does it limit variety in the acts and music on offer to a festivalgoer, but it is a real shame to experience a festival so heavily weighted towards male artists, seeming to indicate that perhaps women in dance music are not given as many opportunities to perform at urban festivals
Stefflon Don was one of the few to rock the stage at Wireless, bringing her Jamaican influenced hip hop and rap to the stage
Dance-pop artist Zara Larsson also represented the ladies!
This comes just a week after Konstantin from the Giegling record label, said in an interview that female DJs were “usually worse at DJing than men are”. This comment arose in a discussion about feminism and women in electronic music, where the interviewer wrote that Giegling itself, could be seen as a “boys club”: a homogenous, male-dominated group that seems impenetrable to women.”
Konstantins words have faced a strong backlash from the public, branding the comments sexist, he may even have severely damaged his reputation as a brand, with some saying he may have Ten Walled himself.
These are extreme views and it would be wrong to assume that the example of the Giegling music label being a “boys club” can be applied to the entire area of urban and hip hop music. Yet the fact these comments were raised, representing the thoughts of some within the industry, enhances concerns that dance music really could be impenetrable, or at least difficult to break, for female artists.
On the other hand, Noname impressed us with her smooth hip-hop sound on the first day of the festival
Along with the other ladies, Yuna made up for the lack of female variety at Wireless with her unique mix of genres; contemporary rnb, soul, funk, acoustic and indie
However, the fact remains, we still need a bigger representation of women out there. Female musicians who are passionate and want to succeed as creators and performers should feel comfortable following these ambitions, and not feel threatened or put off for feeling like a minority.
Female artists should feel they have the same opportunities as anyone else. With a bit of opportunity artists like The Internet could become as popular and loved as the likes of The Weeknd.
We hope this time next year the Wireless line-up will have greatly improved its ratio, with more women inspiring other women to get involved with music.
So here are a few more awesome female hip hop/dance musicians for you to check out, all playing UK festivals this year:
Genre: Contemporary RnB, soul
Playing: LoveBox, Secret Garden Party, Wilderness, Reading & Leeds, Bestival
Genre: Grime, hip hop
Playing: Tramlines, Victorious Festival, Lockdown Fesitval, Mint Festival
Playing: Reading & Leeds
BORN N BREAD
Genre: Grime, garage, dancehall
Playing: Lovebox, V Festival, Victorious Festival
Genre: Dance-pop, contemporary RnB