Coachella announced its 2017 lineup which includes headliners Radiohead, Kendrick Lamar and ― best of all ― Beyoncé.
Queen B headlining one of the most popular music festivals in the country is exciting for more than the simple fact that she is Beyoncé: She’s also the first solo female artist to headline Coachella in the last decade and the first black woman ever to headline the California-based festival.
Since Coachella’s inception in 1999, only two women have headlined the star-studded festival. Before Beyoncé, Bjork headlined the festival in 2007 and once before that in 2002. Portishead ― a three-person English rock band whose lead singer is a woman ― headlined Coachella in 2008.
That’s a pretty abysmal track record.
The gender disparity in festival lineups is unfortunately not new and is not limited to Coachella. In a 2016 analysis of 10 of the most popular American music festivals, The Huffington Post found that all-male acts make up an overwhelming majority of festival lineups.
All-male performers made up around 66 percent of all artists in the past five years of lineups from San Francisco’s Outside Lands and New York City’s Governors Ball. And electronic-based festivals such as Electric Zoo and Ultra have an even wider gender gap: All-male performers made up 93 percent of performers at EZoo and 90 percent at Ultra over the past five years.