In just under three weeks, on the 8th March, it’s International Woman’s Day and London based promoters Dance Like I’ve Got Diamonds are putting on a gig at The George Tavern to celebrate. The team promote female talent in the music industry by giving them a platform of their own, acknowledging women in the music business.
Dance Like I’ve Got Diamonds first event went down a storm back last May at The 229, London with artists such as Ayelle performing. After a brief period of lying low, the all-female team are back stronger than ever with a huge line-up and have also partnered up with Girls Against who will also be present on the night.
The lineup features The Tuts who are an indie punk trio with outspoken and politically charged songs, Peach Club a riot grrrl four piece from Norwich and Dolls who are a noise, grunge-punk duo. We’ve already seen Dolls in the past and can definitely vouch for how good they are live!
With just less than a few weeks to go until the event, we spoke to Dance Like I’ve Got Diamonds about the gig, issues facing woman in music, the bands playing and what’s in store for the future!
Hi there! Where did the initial spark to start ‘Dance Like I’ve Got Diamonds’ come from?
It all started at uni actually. We (Isabelle and Lisa) met at BIMM London in 2015 studying Music Business. In our first year we had an event management module where we had to put on our own gig and with both of us coming from feminist backgrounds, it only felt natural putting on an event with the purpose of empowering women in music, both on and off the stage.
Seeing reports like The Guardian’s about UK festival line-up’s in 2015, were 86% of all line-ups consisted of male artists and then looking around us and seeing the same tendency being mirrored across the rest of the industry, we really felt like something needed to be done. And that’s when we decided that Dance Like I’ve Got Diamonds wouldn’t be just a one off thing and that we would keep putting on our own gigs to hopefully put some pressure on and spark a change in the industry!
Your event is a celebration of women in music and for this gig, you’ve also partnered up with Girls Against. What are the biggest issues that women in music are currently facing?
One would have hoped that by 2017 working in and experiencing music would be on equal terms, and that it would no longer be subject to things like gender, race or sexuality. However, that unfortunately isn’t the world we live in. Female bands have a harder time being taken seriously and are often just dismissed as being “just another girl group” and being judged by their looks or are met with comments like “Oh I didn’t think that girls could actually play the drums” – sexist bullshit that male bands just don’t have to put up with.
The same can be seen behind the scenes where women are largely underrepresented in executive roles, whilst dominating when it comes to music industry interns and junior roles. There’s definitely a gap there, and it isn’t a question about women not wanting to climb the career latter, it’s a question about attitude. Like many other industries the music industry really is a boy’s club, making it hard for people who don’t identify as men to enter the business and this really needs to change.
In addition to this, women are also to a much greater extent the target when it comes to sexual assault and harassment in the live music environment, as well as in society at large. Girls Against is an amazing organisation that actively works to fight against and educate people about sexual assault at gigs and we just couldn’t be prouder to have them on board for our next event. We believe it’s our responsibility as promoters to take a clear stand against sexual assaults and work to prevent it as much as we possibly can – something we challenge more promoters and venues to do.
How did you choose the bands who are playing the event?
We really wanted to have a 100% female line up to make a point that it is possible. There are just too many promoters out there complaining about how hard it is to book female acts, using it as an excuse to only book male ones. But obviously we chose the bands based on their talent, and we’d never book a band that our team doesn’t like just because they’ve got women in the band.
Like any promoter we just really want to book brilliant live bands that have great songs and that can engage an audience. That’s it, isn’t it? We have just chosen to single out the female bands we like and give them the credit they deserve and we couldn’t be more pleased with our line-up!
‘Dance Like I’ve Got Diamonds’ is just based in London at the moment(?). Do you have plans to host similar gigs in other cities in the future?
Currently we’re just building our momentum here in London but in the future we are open to partnering up with some other feminist promoters around the country, such as GirlsThatGig in Leeds, to do national tours. However, our overall goal is to not be needed in the future, because if we’re no longer needed that means that the industry has reached gender equality across all sectors.
Thinking about the name “Dance Like I’ve Got Diamonds”… If you had to assign a specific gemstone to each of the bands playing at the event, who would be what and why?
Oh what an interesting question! We actually had to do some research for this one… For Peach Club we’re thinking Alexandrite, which symbols joy, empowerment and hope, which is also what the band symbols for us.
For Dolls, we would probably assign them Jade, as it is a gem stone that promotes courage, compassion, generosity and longevity, something that we feel corresponds well with their energy as a band.
And for The Tuts we’re thinking Rhodochrosite, a gemstone that is said to raise your self-esteem and self-worth, while increasing feelings of self-love and that is definitely what The Tuts and their music does for us!
Summing up what we can expect from the gig in just three words, what would they be and why?
Glitter & girl power! Isn’t that all you really want from a night of female empowerment, or any night out really?
Beyond the gig at The George Tavern, London on the 8th March (International Woman’s Day), what else have you got in store for ‘Dance Like I’ve Got Diamonds’ across the rest of 2017 and beyond?
We’re actually already in the process of planning and booking artists for our next event which will take place early June. That’s all we can go out with at the moment, but we have some exciting stuff lined up, so make sure to follow us on Facebook/Twitter to stay up to the date with our latest news!
We thank Dance Like I’ve Got Diamonds for their time! The gig will take place at The George Tavern, London on 8th March. Tickets for the event are priced at just £5 and can be purchased here and a limited amount will be available on the night for £7.