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Thursday 8th March marked, International Women’s Day. We were honoured to host two jam-packed panels alongside a stellar line up of female ACM artists at The Bedford in Balham to celebrate the occasion.
With the aim of challenging the current state of the creative industries and embarking on a journey of discovery as to what needs to happen to effect sector-wide change, a guest-list of students and industry professionals were kept thoroughly engaged throughout the International Women’s Day event.
We kicked off the day with an impactful performance from ACM Creative Artist student Chinchilla, the first panel then took to the stage to discuss the challenges women face in today’s live music scene.
Featuring Dom Fraser (owner of independent venue The Boileroom), Eve Fairly-Chickwe (ACM alumna and A&R at Kobolt) Jo Lord (Sound Engineer), Carly Wilford (DJ, Presenter and Creator), and Yasmin Mirdamad (ACM Programme Coordinator and creator of ‘Live On The Road’), the panel was chaired by ACM lecturer Kaya Herstad-Carney.
Discussing issues around positive action and the imbalance of the genders in the live scene, the audience of students, press and industry were actively encouraged to join in the conversation. Sound Engineer Jo pointed out that in her industry just 10% of engineers are women. ACM alumna Eve suggested that challenging the language used such as ‘soundman’ could be a way to start to effect change in this industry and is something everyone can actively play a role in. Rounding up with questions from the audience, ACM rap artist LUNA gave an energetic performance before the second panel sat down to discuss the struggles women face in the business side of the music industry.
“It’s an honour for me to be here because I love the fact we can get together to just discuss and remember everything that’s been going down in the past that makes it possible for us to do what we do today.”
Featuring ACM alumna Atlanta Cobb (Crown Management), Lydia Stockbridge (Venue Manager at The Boileroom), ACM alumna Kelli Slade (Kobolt) and ACM alumna Lucy Tallant (XVII Music), the panel praised the ‘Me To’ movement and discussed personal experiences within their own career paths. Kelli spoke of how often women are expected to work harder for the same recognition and Lydia mentioned the need for an open dialogue with colleagues to effect a change in attitude. Rounding up a successful day of debate, panels and stand-out performances, was ACM artist Bethia Ward who delivered a relaxed pop set, accompanied by her band before some informal networking in the bar.
Equality in all forms is at the heart of our values so supporting events such as International Women’s Day is incredibly important to us as an institution. With a strong ‘learning by doing’ ethos, we were proud to inspire our next generation of the creative industries with so many leading women in the field at this year’s event.
“You have full power, full control of being able to take your career where ever you want it to go, but it does start with us and we can keep pointing the finger and we can keep blaming and yes there is a load of stuff that’s happened and a load of people that are talking about it – however it’s up to us what we do about it now”.
Images by Rob Blackham
If you’d like to study at ACM and learn from world-class industry professionals, please call our Admissions Team on 01483 500 841 or visit www.acm.ac.uk/open-days to book a place on an ACM Open Day today.