IMRO Partners With Keychange

December 11, 2018


The Irish Music Rights Organisation (IMRO) is delighted to announce its sponsorship of Keychange, a pioneering international initiative which aims to see music festival line-ups achieve a 50:50 gender balance by 2022 whilst investing in the next generation of female talent in music.

Since 2017, Keychange has been empowering  women from across Europe to transform the future of music with the help of European festivals and conferences who have signed up to a 50:50 gender balance by 2022. 60 emerging artists and music business innovators from across Europe have performed and collaborated at international festivals and taken part in workshops and creative labs which make up the Keychange extensive support programme.

As Keychange grows and develops with over 140 festivals signing the pledge and a Keychange manifesto launched recently in the EU Parliament, IMRO is proud to join in as a supporter of the next phase of Keychange which is currently being prepared by PRS Foundation and partners. IMRO’s support will enable female artists and innovators from Ireland to take part in this unique initiative and collaborate with their peers from an extended network of 12 countries.

Speaking at the announcement of the partnership, Eleanor McEvoy, IMRO Chairperson said “International collaboration is essential to the creative and business development of all talented artists and the music industry’s future success. Enabling more women access to international networks and new markets at critical stages in their career will help them realise their potential as future leaders of an industry that is ready for and will benefit from change.  Right now we have an opportunity to respond and commit to tangible change within the music industry.  Our hope is that this will be the start of a more balanced industry which will result in benefits for everyone.”

Amongst the 140 international music festivals and conferences which have pledged to achieve a 50:50 gender balance across their line-ups by 2022, are Ireland’s Hard Working Class Heroes, and international festivals such as BBC Proms, Bestival, Canadian Music Week, Eurosonic Noorderslag, Iceland Airwaves, Midem, Kendal Calling, Reeperbahn Festival and many more.

Hard Working Class Heroes director Angela Dorgan said “Ireland has been supporting the Keychange initiative through the work of Hard Working Class Heroes who have joined as the Irish participating festival to grow the initiative further around the world. As part of the offcial sign up HWCH achieved 50:50 gender balance in 2017 and 55 :45 in 2018. We look forward to the artists and professionals from Ireland benefitting from this scheme and look forward to widening network and showcase opportunities to other artists and professional who will visit us in Ireland.”

Vanessa Reed, CEO of PRS Foundation and Keychange Founder said, “We’re delighted that IMRO has confirmed support of this international talent development programme and movement towards change.  Women from six European countries benefitted from collaboration, performance and training opportunities in the first phase of Keychange. IMRO’s support means that Irish artists and innovators will be able to join this network in 2019 when we’ll be launching a wider reaching programme with many more partners including First Music Contact in Dublin who will host international performances and visits at Working Class Heroes”.

Last month Keychange presented a manifesto for change at the European Parliament in Brussels, with the aim of encouraging a gender balanced music industry worldwide.

Some of the recommendations in the manifesto include: addressing the gender pay gap by establishing pay grades; anonymising recruitment processes; adopting health & safety and ethics policies which tackle sexual harassment; investing in mentoring and leadership training for women; and implementing paid shared parental leave for freelancers.

Keychange is led by PRS Foundation, supported by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union, in partnership with Musikcentrum Öst, Reeperbahn Festival, Iceland Airwaves, BIME, Tallinn Music Week, Way Out West, Liverpool Sound City and Mutek.

It is sponsored by Spotify, IMRO, GEMA, STEF, SGAE Foundation, Ableton, Trackd, Gorwelion Horizons, OMDC, Roskilde Foundation, British Council, Songtrust, Soundcloud and STIM.



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