Story at a glance

  • After the lineup for the 2020 Reading and Leeds festival was announced, critics on social media pointed out a lack of female artists.
  • Lead singer and guitarist of The 1975 Matthew Healy joined the discussion on Twitter.
  • Healy said The 1975 would not participate in future festivals without female and nonbinary artists.

The 1975’s lead singer Matthew Healy has committed to only playing in festivals where female and nonbinary artists are represented.

“I’m sure my agents are having kittens right now, but times up man people need to act and not chat,” Healy said, responding to the Guardian’s deputy music editor Laura Snapes on Twitter.

The discussion started after the lineup for the 2020 Reading and Leeds festival in England was announced. Critics on Twitter, including Snapes, were disappointed that the lineup was dominated by male artists, only featuring 20 acts including women out of more than 90.

When Healy joined the discussion, Snapes challenged him to step up as a male artist. 

Healy agreed, tweeting, “Take this as me signing this contract — 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.”

The band and its other members have not yet made a statement on Healy's commitment. But this isn’t the first socially conscious commit from the 1975, which performed at the 2019 Reading and Leeds festival. 

For their upcoming concert in Finsbury Park in July, the band has committed to planting a tree for every ticket sold. The concert will also be powered by hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) fuel along with hybrid powered generators with solar arrays. The paperless show features a female-dominated lineup including artists Charli XCX, Clairo, Phoebe Bridgers, Deb Never, Beabadoobee and Pale Waves. 

Published on Feb 13, 2020