Isle of Wight promoter John Giddings apologizes for comments from ‘girl rock group’
Isle of Wight festival promoter John Giddings apologized after asking for suggestions of ‘girl rock groups’ to add to the festival’s lineup.
After tweeting the request, the festival organizer was criticized on social media for his choice of wording.
“Please re-evaluate your formulation / thought process. I appreciate that you are (hopefully) trying to provide opportunities for female musicians, but this should be standard, not a symbolic gesture, ”wrote Twitter user @okaychloegreen. “Plus ‘lady rock’ is really humiliating.”
Giddings quickly apologized for his “poor choice of words” and clarified that he “was not using the term ‘lady rock'”. “I agree, that would be humiliating,” he said. “I apologize that it came out like this.”
female rock groups?
we still have a niche to fill on the river stage @IsleOfWightFest ’21
– John Giddings (@ JohnGiddings01) August 20, 2021
He later tweeted again with a more inclusive take on his original post, noting that the festival wanted to “add more non-cis male actors to our lineup.”
we would like to add more non-cis male actors to our lineup, please send your suggestions for the river scene @IsleOfWightFest 21 cheers
– John Giddings (@ JohnGiddings01) August 21, 2021
Despite his awkward choice of words, Giddings later confirmed that his request was successful in some respects. “After we’re completely done (again, sorry) I’m happy to say we have over 100 entries for the @IsleOfWight 21 River Slot,” he tweeted. “Now we have to listen to them and we will be back shortly. Thank you!!”
after completely f ***** g (again, sorry .._)
Glad to see that we have over 100 applications for the river scene niche @IsleOfWightFest 21… now we have to listen to them and we will be back shortly
Thank you !!
– John Giddings (@ JohnGiddings01) August 22, 2021
In April, activists and figures in the music industry warned of the need for “urgent” and shared action to improve gender diversity in festival schedules. “If you are an established festival, which is likely to sell out year after year, you should be much more committed to making sure the programming is balanced,” Laura Davidson, formerly of All Points East and Founder from AMIGAS, Told NME.
“It means supporting emerging artists to make sure they get the opportunities now, and will play the biggest slots and maybe headlining for years to come.”
Keychange Project Manager Maxie Gedge added: “More and more, if you don’t make these positive changes, you will be left behind. Audiences are not just passive bodies of people, they are dynamic. They care more and more about accountability and representation. If the festivals do not react to this, they will be left behind. “