Women in live music talk diversity at SPOT+
by Salome Pkhaladze, photos by Guki Giunashvili, Jotland Station (www.jutlandstation.dk)
“Bigger diversity means bigger quality and more creativity” – live sound engineer Malle Kaas introduced her organization Women in Live Music with these words, at SPOT+ seminar on 11th of May.
Women in Live Music (WILM) is a European online community for women working behind the scenes of the live music industry: sound engineers, lighting designers, backliners, and etc. This platform provides them with workshops, trainings, networking and job opportunities.
WILM provides a crewlist on their web-site, where everyone who is interested to have a woman crew member, can find female professionals (photo: Guki Giunashvili)
According to Malle Kaas, there is a big gender imbalance and lack of diversity in the live music industry, especially behind the scenes. Women are a minority and because of the discomfort at the workplace, they often abandon their passion.
Malle Kaas started working as a sound engineer in the mid-90s but soon stepped down. “I didn’t have female co-workers, it was really lonely and frustrating. Pressure is higher for women in this industry,” says Kaas. Five years ago, she decided to come back and co-founded Women in Live Music in order to support other women and help them succeed in their career despite the obstacles.
Brigit Olsen will get her bachelor’s degree in sound engineering next week (photo: Guki Giunashvili)
26-year-old Brigit Olsen is one of the members of the Women in Live Music community. She studies sound engineering EUC NORD and is the only girl in her class. “It’s very difficult field to work in. Sometimes I feel alone, but it’s good to have a community where they know what you are going through and support you.” With the advising from WILM, Brigit applied for Roskilde Festival and got accepted.
SPOT+ is a two-day conference and seminar program hosted by SPOT festival. It is the opportunity to meet international music supervisors and talents of the creative industries through conferences, presentations, and talks. This year themes of the SPOT+ are branding, digital, equality, sync, and music supervision.