Matty Healy Responds To Reading And Leeds Backlash Pledging To Only Perform At Festivals Committed To Gender Equality

The lack of female representation on the Reading And Leeds line-up has inspired the 1975 singer to make a big decision.
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The 1975 frontman Matty Healy has pledged that in future he will only perform at festivals committed to gender equality.

On Tuesday, the line-up for this year’s Reading And Leeds Festival was announced, with many criticising the fact that only a handful of female acts would be appearing on stage over the course of the three-day festival.

Among these critics was music journalist Laura Snapes, who suggested the line-up was proof that the festival’s organisers “[don’t] give a shit about representation”.

When Matty responded to her to suggest that headliners Rage Against The Machine were a “dope booking”, she said: “Rage would be a dope booking if they used their leverage to demand equality on the bill.

“Any act with power that isn’t doing that, yet is speaking out against inequality, is failing to understand the game-changing role they could play in this situation.”

Matty on stage in Australia last week
Matty on stage in Australia last week
Martin Philbey via Getty Images

Laura then urged the singer to “add a condition to your rider that says you’ll only play festivals that commit to X% (ideally 50%!) acts that include women and non binary performers”, which he then quote-tweeted, revealing it would be something he was committing to in the future.

“Take this as me signing this contract,” he wrote. “I have agreed to some festivals already that may not adhere to this and I would never let fans down who already have tickets. But from now I will and believe this is how male artist can be true allies.

“I’m sure my agents are having kittens right now but times up man people need to act and not chat thanks for the kick up the arse Snapes you’re making a difference.

“Point is that Reading and Leeds with more women would be honestly the best festival in the world that place is vibeyyy.”

The 1975 have performed at Reading and Leeds Festival multiple times in the past, including last year, when they headlined.

This year’s headliners include Stormzy, Liam Gallagher and Rage Against The Machine, with Brit nominee Mabel, rapper Lady Leshurr and the indie band Bloxx the only female acts scheduled to appear on the festival’s main stage.

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