By Shannon Carlin
Three days after Coachella announced their 2015 lineup the hashtag #Brochella was trending. It stemmed from a Slate article published Jan. 9 that brought attention to not only the lack of female artists playing this year’s festival, but throughout the festival’s 15-year history.
If the facts regarding the desert festival’s yearly lineups didn’t already bum you out enough—a solo female artist has headlined only twice in Coachella’s history, and both times, in 2002 and 2007, it was Björk—the illustrated poster the website doctored up that solely featured the women on the bill, made it even clearer how severely lacking in estrogen the fest is.
This year 25 women will appear on stage during the three-day, two-weekend fest out in California. Fifteen of these acts will be solo female artists, while the remaining 10 are bands that feature at least one female band member, with six of these acts being female fronted—Florence + The Machine, Alabama Shakes, HAERTS, Clean Bandit, Phox and Marina and the Diamonds. According to Slate, the number of women on this year’s lineup is down from 2014—just 26 woman-fronted acts on this bill compared to last year’s 28, and only 15 solo or all-women acts compared to last year’s 17.
Unfortunately, an anemic amount of female acts on the bill tends to be the norm in Coachella’s nearly two-decade history. Especially when it comes to the headlining slots, as Radio.com pointed out in a piece published last year after we removed our flower crowns, washed the dirt out of our eyes and took a fine tooth comb to the lineups throughout Coachella’s history and realized the festival could use some help in the female department. We suggested 10 women who could headline the festival in 2015 with one of our picks, St. Vincent, making the 2015 bill not as a headliner, but on the second line of the poster in a decently sized font.
After looking at Bonnaroo’s 2015 lineup though, it’s safe to say Coachella isn’t the only festival that has a serious woman problem. In fact, Bonnaroo’s problem is actually far worse.
Why you ask? Well, that’s because no woman, specifically solo, has ever headlined Bonnaroo in its 12 years. Zero. Nada, Zilch.