The 1975’s Matty Healy Is Taking A Big Step To Make Festivals More Diverse And Inclusive

The 1975‘s vocalist Matty Healy is known for bringing social awareness to his performances. Back in May, the singer spoke out about Alabama’s abortion ban on stage at Hangout Fest. Later, the singer addressed his issues with cancel culture. Now, Healy is tackling festival diversity. The singer made a vow to do all that’s in his power to make festivals more inclusive. His idea is to add an inclusion condition on his riders, a list of requirements venues must meet in order for a band to play. Healy hopes he can push festival executives to book more female and non-binary performers in this way.

Healy took to Twitter to share his new plan. It all started when The Guardian‘s Laura Snapes shared an article about Rage Against The Machine headlining Reading and Leeds Fest. “By this stage we can conclusively assume that Melvin Benn doesn’t give a sh*t about representation,” she said, drawing attention to the severe lack of diversity on the lineup. Healy replied in agreement but expressed his excitement to see the veteran alt-rockers, saying they are a “dope booking.” Snapes replied with, “Rage would be a dope booking if they used their leverage to demand equality on the bill.” She then gave Healy the idea to add a condition on his riders that necessitates gender balance on the lineup.

Healy was onboard with the idea. “But from now I will and believe this is how male artist can be true allies,” he wrote.

The singer added that while his booking agents may not be happy about the decision, “people need to act and not chat.”

After the Twitter exchange, Healy spoke to Snapes in-depth about the decision for The Guardian. “It’s all about action,” he said. “When it comes to big sociopolitical issues and governments are involved, sometimes action or protest can just be ignored. But when it comes to the music industry, we can change that. It’s not a geopolitical nightmare: it’s the music industry, and it’s something that if everyone gets on board, we can fix.”

Reading and Leeds festival taking steps to ensure a more inclusive lineup wouldn’t be revolutionary, or difficult for that matter. Festivals like Iceland Airwaves are already leading the industry in lineup diversity. In 2018, the festival achieved a 50/50 ratio of male to female performers on the bill.