(Feature Photo: Forbs.com)
Last Week the very anticipated 2017 Warped Tour Line up was announce and per-usual it is being met with mix reviews. For those of you that are un aware of what Warped Tour is why are you reading this? Just kidding. The Van’s Sponsored music festival has been providing angsty teens all over the nation with a needed dose of summer Punk rock since 1996.
While the tours claim to fame is from its punk rock, ska, and hard-core roots, in recent years the line up has been slowly moving away from the classics. Including genres like Rap, Electro, and Indie. At first I didn’t mind the branching out do to music’s fluid nature. As years go on by, bands change the sound, so why can’t a music festal? But I do understand where out raged long time Warped Fans are coming from.
Warped tour was meant to be for a summer festival for those who felt unwelcome by other mainstream festivals. It’s not just about the music, it’s about the community. And by branching out to more popular genres do we risk changing the audience? Are we inviting in more Normies? or even Basics? Ultimately changing the community dynamic of warped?
While this effect would be more long-term, it’s still something to think about.
Even with the possible threat of the Normie infiltration, I can’t bring my self to be completely against this branching out. Mainly because one of the limbs extended has been to female band and artist. Punk rock, even with the amazing Hayley Williams and Lyndsey Gunnulfsen, is without question male dominated. Consequently Warp Tour line-ups have been very male. But in recent years Warped has included some kick ass lady rockers.
In 2013 we had Cherri Bomb, an all-female hard rock group, consisting of Miller, the Lovelis sisters and lead singer Julia Pierce. Pierce has since left the band and they are now known as Hey Violet. In 2014 DJ Nichola Bear, a track spinner from the UK who effortlessly switches between genres with her eclectic style to get the crowd moving to indie, hip-hop, dub step or whatever she might be feeling. In 2015 we had Icon For Hire, a known for their feminist masterpiece “Now you Know,” speaking to what is like for Woman in the music industry. And in 2016 there was Mother Feather, and American rock band from New York City formed by vocalist Ann Courtney.
(Photo: Dollskin )
Now that we’ve learned about some of the all-stars lets break it down in to numbers. This may get confusing but bear with me! I’m trying to make a point! In 2013 about 15 out of 137 bands had one or more female members. In 2014 about 19 out of 129, in 2015 14 out of 102, and 7 out of 78 in 2016.
As Wondering Sound contributor, Magen Seling, puts it, less than 20% of the tours 100 plus acts include at lest one female. As you can see Warp Tour, whether it means to or not, is a mans world.
This year, 2017, about 14 out of 90 bands have one or more female members. So that about 6 percent, going down from 2016’s 11%. BUT unlike all the past years 2017’s lineup includes Two all female bands! Los Angeles based punk band Bad Cop/ Bad Cop, and Phoenix’s Rock and Roll queens Doll Skin.
Annnnndd even feminist hardcore group War on Women will be joining this years line up. And to be honest the artist I’m most excited for. They told City Pages, “We feel like we’re in a unique position to infiltrate what could be a hostile environment, and ensure that women’s voices are heard.” SO PUMPED!
While warped tour still has a long way to go when it comes to fixing the issue of the lack of woman, I think that the Line up this year is a step in the right, or should I say woke, direction. Check out next weeks post next week for my 2017 Warped Tour recommendations.