Houston Matters

Music Industry Working To Put More Women Center Stage

Grace Gibson of Live Nation details efforts to showcase more female music acts.

The Regrettes
Members of The Regrettes, a Los Angeles-based punk band that’s performing in Houston July 24.

Gender bias is well recognized in many industries, but it can also be a factor in the music business.

A study earlier this year from the Berklee College of Music and the organization Women In Music surveyed nearly 2,000 women in the music business in 2018 and found about 78 percent of them felt they’ve been treated differently because of their gender.

And, since the #MeToo movement, there have numerous conversations about how many female artists are on the bill at music festivals.

Sleater-Kinney
The band Sleater-Kinney performs in Houston Nov. 7, 2019.

The issue is both personal and business for Grace Gibson of Live Nation. She’s a Houston native who books artists for gigs at both the House of Blues and Revention Music Center.

Growing up, Gibson went to numerous shows at places like Fitzgerald’s and Walter’s but says most of the bands were all-male or fronted by a man. So, by default, she didn’t think of the music industry as a career option.

But now, she and other bookers around the nation are making scheduling female artists and bands a priority for the vendors they serve.

Raja Kumari
Songwriter and rapper Raja Kumari performs in Houston June 21.

In just the coming weeks and months, Gibson has scheduled acts like Monsieur Periné, Ana Barbara, Raja Kumari, The Regrettes, Carly Rae Jepsen, Sasami, and Sleater-Kinney, just to name a few.

In the audio above, Gibson tells Houston Matters about increased efforts in the music industry to create equity for female performers.

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