diversify the stage

The Keychange campaign has been doing great work towards making festival lineups and other events more diverse in terms of the people on stage. But it’s not alone.

US counterpart Diversify The Stage is also getting up a head of steam with its efforts to “establish more inclusive hiring practices and greater access to equitable opportunities in live music, events, and touring industries”. Its latest campaign is an inclusivity pledge, launched this week with backing already from Live Nation, AEG and the key talent agencies.

“One thing we all really agreed on is that there needs to be a standard practice across the board for all of the companies to really adhere to in order for this to really have any type of effect,” founder Noelle Scaggs told Variety.

“All of these organisations really working together to create more of a standard practice of intention was super important to do, especially for us artists out there that want to take the initiative and have our internal teams really reflect what we would like to see.”

The pledge focuses on various aspects of diversity: race, gender, sexuality and disability, with a focus on practical steps that companies can take.

“I’m not looking for anybody to change their entire program in a year. But what I would love to see is some action. There are a lot of databases that are available. There are new ways of looking for staff nowadays. There’s a multitude of DEI [diversity, equity and inclusion] counselling and training that’s available to people nowadays,” said Scaggs.

“I think it’s just a matter of not being lazy about it and really, really taking it seriously, because at the end of the day, it’s only going to make our industry better.”

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