Here at Nozstock HQ we’re proud of our brilliant team. From our clean-up team to the stage designers, we are lucky to have a bunch of outstanding people committed to making Nozstock even bigger and better every single year.
However, today, on International Women’s Day, we want to take a moment to put in an extra special thank you to all of the incredible women that keep Nozstock keepin’ on. This year’s Women’s Day campaign theme is #BalanceforBetter – from grassroots initiatives to worldwide action, we’re moving into a period of history where the world expects balance. We’re starting to notice its absence more and more, even in the music industry.
In the recent statistics that have come to light as part of Smirnoff’s ‘Equalising Music Pledge’ (spearheaded by BBC Radio 1 DJ, Annie Mac) it’s clear we are noticing our pitfalls and are putting in the shift for equal representation in the industry. According to the research presented by the PRS Foundation, in the US in 2018, there was 76% male representation across festival stages to 14% female. Meanwhile, the overall gender divide in the music industry workforce is drastic, with 70% of the workforce currently made up of men. Only 30% of the workforce are women.
At Nozstock, we’re so proud to work with a range of incredibly talented women, front and centre and behind the scenes, and today is better than any to celebrate their presence. We spoke to a couple of the Noz ladies about what makes the festival such a great place for them to work, and advice for the next generation of young women looking to close that industry gap even more.
Maddie Williams, our brilliant Assistant to Managing Director Pete Nosworthy, found her feet with the team because “Nozstock is a welcoming and respectful environment to work in – the whole project is a collaborative effort, so from the moment you get on site there is a shared degree of respect and comradery which ties us all together.” Working closely with Pete, booking amazing artists and all the admin that comes with it, Maddie’s found herself saying yes to a plethora of opportunities that have helped her expand on existing skills, and learn new ones too.
But there’s still so much more to be done to bring young women into the industry. “We should be continuing our efforts to recognise individuals for their own skills and qualities regardless of gender.” Maddie says. And a word of advice to those of you reading this thinking, let’s do it; “Get involved! Don’t be afraid to ask for help or guidance, there are plenty of people willing to do this, don’t let being a woman ever defy what you want to achieve or how you achieve it.”
Roisin Linton, our Assistant to the Creative Director Ella Nosworthy, puts Nozstock’s awesome working environment down to one simple thing: “Skill set and drive comes above gender or age every single time.” Roisin knows the ups and downs of working in such a challenging industry, but believes in the power of perseverance, confidence and supportive networks: “Sometimes your idea will not be good, sometimes it just won’t be the best in the room, sometimes it will be brilliant, bordering on genius. But the point is, you should be working in a team which allows you to work through to the best solution together…The world is changing and you get to lead the way baby!”
Our very own Creative Director, Ella Nosworthy, has helped to build an environment that’s more focussed on skill set and creative ideas than gender, intentional or not: “It’s not something we’ve specifically tried to make happen…it’s been a gradual growth from a group of friends, so the love for all insights and perspectives has been there from the beginning.” And for Noz HQ it’s all about that family feel; knowing your ideas won’t be shot down, being given the space to be you and bring your unique insights to the table.
That family aspect that we all know and love about Nozstock extends to our line-ups as well; “It’s about having an integrated approach across all sectors of production and programming, looking at who gets the opportunities and why.” And for all of you; whatever age, whatever gender you identify as, whatever your skill set looking to get involved in music, just remember one thing: “Be less scared of failure.”