Oh Sister, Where Art Thou: Women in Americana Music
It's widely reported that both female artists and women working behind the scenes in music face numerous challenges when striving for success; from the under representation of female artists on radio and festival line-ups, to the gender pay gap, to the prevalence of sexual harassment and assault highlighted by the #MeToo campaign. What's it like for women in Americana Music and how can barriers and challenges be overcome to create balance and equality in the sector?
Moderator: Jess Partridge (PRS Foundation)
Jess works at the PRS Foundation as project manager of Keychange - which comprises of a talent development programme for women across Europe and a gender balance pledge which has seen over 150 festival commit to have a 50/50 line-up by the year 2022. Alongside developing Keychange Jess is also the editor of London's best gig guide - London in Stereo, a monthly print magazine with a distribution of over 16,000.
Yola is a two-times AMA-UK award winner (Artist of the year 2017, Song of the Year for ‘Home’ 2018) from Bristol, UK. She has been a writer and artist in the music industry for over fifteen years, working on her latest solo project since 2016. Her debut solo album Walk Through Fire, will be released February 22nd. The Dan Auerbach–produced album is a contemporary twist on a traditional sonic tapestry of orchestral strings, fiddle, steel, and shimmering tremolo guitars. Walk Through Fire is a career-defining and genre-bending release from one of the most exciting emerging British artists in music today. Yola’s arresting vocals captivate with sincere tales of heartache and loves lost, forgotten, and broken.
Natalie Stokes (sound technician)
Nat Stokes is a Manchester Born, London based Audio and Broadcast Engineer. After studying Music Technology at Manchester College, she began her career as a Live Sound Engineer working in house at a Jazz Club whilst also freelancing in various venues in and around the North West. Nat then started a traineeship at BBC Scotland in 2014 specialising in Radio, and subsequently moved to London to work as a Sound Engineer in BBC News. Now working as a Deputy Sound Supervisor in Radio Outside Broadcasts, Nat has gone on to work on production’s including; Live Lounges 50th Anniversary with the Foo Fighters and Chris Martin, Premier League Football for 5Live and Glastonbury. Nat is passionate about encouraging more women to work in Audio and Engineering roles.
Mandy Parnell (Black Saloon Studios)
Bev Burton (Killer B Music)
Killer B Music has been booking and event managing festivals, events and events for over 12 years, our portfolio of festivals has included: Hop Farm Music Festival, FIB Benicassim, The Mighty Boosh Festival, Costa de Fuego, Black Deer, Wood Festival, Cambridge Folk Festival, Desertfest, Wheels and Fins, Zoo Project UK, The Brick Lane Takeover, The Magic Loungeabout, Synergy Live, Parklife (South Africa), Roko Nakyts, Bliuzo Naktys and Galapagai (Lithuania). KB also books and event manages large-scale shows, our last 2 shows were Kings of Leon at Newcastle Football Club and Sarah Brightman and the Chinese Philharmonic Orchestra, in Beijing, China. We take care of bookings for corporate parties, private events and launches. We also work with various brands when they want to align with bands.
Gill Tee (Black Deer Festival).
Gill started her music career at Capital Radio, where her role was to promote ‘on air’, music events and festivals for the leading UK promoters of the time. She worked her way through the ranks and became Head of Entertainment at the station. During this period Gill was charged with pulling together, along with her team, the 100,000 capacity Party in the Park at Hyde Park in 1998 This is where Gill fell in love with producing events. Having employed a production company to work with on the project and watching a world build from a green field site, it became something she wanted to learn how to do herself, so Gill took a massive step and left Capital to start her own events business, Entertee with former colleague and friend at Capital, Deborah Shilling, who worked in sponsorship at the station. In 2004, realising there was a gap in the market, Gill started the now very successful Entertee Hire with her son Reece. This business supplies high quality fencing and ground protection to the festival industry. During the 20 years of Entertee, Gill produced a number of high-profile events, which also included securing a contract to produce a series of regional Party in the Parks for the Capital Radio group all over the country. Many events later, she was asked to produce a new festival in Kent, the Hop Farm Festival, where she learned first-hand the ups and downs of producing a festival from scratch. Building a great team of suppliers and a loyal team, the Hop Farm was headlined by some incredible artists including Prince’s first and only UK festival appearance. Gill has now come full circle from producing festivals in her radio days for other promoters, to becoming a promoter and festival owner herself. Using all the experience gained from her many years in the industry, she has applied this to the first ever Black Deer, a festival of Americana and Country music which she co-founded with partner Debs. Debs heads up all communications as Marketing Director and Gill Festival Director, dealing with all aspects of production. Together as promoters they use their creative skills to ensure every detail of the festival is thought through, from visual, tangible to the whole experience.
Mandy Parnell (Black Saloon Studios)
Mandy’s years of experience have allowed her to discover and develop her philosophies in analogue and digital audio, while working with an amazing array of artists including Björk, Feist, The XX, Daughter, Richard Russell and Brian Eno. Producers including Paul Epworth, Ethan Jones, Herbert and James Lavelle. Mandy has mastered countless records that have achieved gold and platinum status around the world. She is a Grammy Award Winner, an MPG awards Winner and has been nominated for numerous Grammy’s, Tech and other awards. Always tuning into her clients mindset and artistic vision, one artist states that, “working with Mandy is like finding yourself with an extra person in the band - someone who manages to gently tread both an artistic and highly technical path……..rather than just providing a professional, clinical, functional service at the end of the process.” Mandy’s unique style as a mastering engineer has afforded her respect from all areas of the industry. As a firm believer in educating the next generation of producers and engineers, Mandy frequently lectures on mastering and the music industry at universities, colleges and organisations. Mandy has been featured on the BBC, Resolution magazine, Sound On Sound, Prosound news, NME and Audio Musica & Technologia. As well as featured in books. Mandy is an active member of the MPG, AES and Grammys Producers and Engineers Wing.