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So long, white manels! Let’s Be The Change aims for diversity at music industry conferences


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If you’ve ever found yourself annoyed by all-male ‘manels’ at music-industry conferences, a new initiative that’s launching this morning should be encouraging.

Let’s Be The Change is being launched by industry consultant Sammy Andrews with the aim of increasing the diversity of speakers at industry events.

Initially, that involves creating two lists of potential speakers for conference organisers to draw on: one with women and the other with speakers from diverse ethnic backgrounds. The initiative will also offer mentoring and guidance for women who haven’t yet done public speaking, but would like to.

“I’m getting increasingly frustrated with the perpetual fucking sausagefest that is the state of our conferences on the whole,” said Andrews in a statement. “Rather than sit complaining about it I want to actively change it.”

Let’s Be The Change is being backed by Live Nation, AIM, PRS for Music, the MMF, The Orchard and SheSaidSo. “Through work like this, we can and will achieve a balanced music industry,” said AIM’s Lara Baker in a supportive statement.

Stuart Dredge

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