The lineup for Scotland’s biggest outdoor music festival, TRNSMT, has encountered a barrage of criticism for the second year running.
The Glasgow Green event, annually attended by around 120,000 music fans, announced its lineup for the 2020 incarnation of the event, which will take place from 10th – 12th July next year.
The fourth instalment of TRSNMT has as its headliners Liam Gallagher – his second top of the bill booking, and similarly, a repeat headline spot for Lewis Capaldi.
13 acts have been announced so far, and criticism has been coming from all sides since just two are women: Rita Ora and Little Simz. The point has been also made that in its four years just one artist of colour – from a headline-grabbing Stormzy set – has headlined
And a process of elimination leads us to the fact that the acts who have been booked are, largely, white boys with guitars, sparking jibes that TRNSMT lacks ‘genre diversity’.
It is, however, the lack of female representation on the bill which has attracted most criticism. But despite widespread ridicule, organisers DF Concerts have again announced that they will be running the Queen Tut’s Stage – regarded by most as either a patronising afterthought, or, now that it has reared its head again, a handy ghetto to place bands with at least one female-identifying member to increase the balance of the event overall.
DF’s head, Geoff Ellis said of the feeling of deja vu generated by the 2020 lineup: “We all know there aren’t a lot of festival headliners out there. It’s been the case for the past decade,” adding that there were “far, far less” potential female headliners.
“It will be a while until there’s a 50/50 balance. That’s definitely several years ahead for any major festival to achieve,” he added, despite the fact that Iceland’s Airwaves and Spain’s Primavera have managed to do just that.
He added: “We need to get more females picking up guitars, forming bands, playing in bands” – in isolation a laudable sentiment, though perhaps summing up the whole problem – that it’s guitar-based rock which draws the crowds to Glasgow Green, and without a diet of Gallaghers washed down by £5-a-pint cooking lager it simply wouldn’t be able to exist.
Tickets for TRNSMT 2020 will be available from Friday 29th November at TRNSMT.com