Conventions & Awards

Folk Alliance Shares Final Conference Numbers

image from celebrityaccess.comFolk Alliance International has released their post-conference report.  This year’s 30th-anniversary celebration took place in Montreal, Quebec, February 13-17, and welcomed a record 2,855 attendees from 35 countries around the world.

In addition to the 47 professional development panels, 25 networking and mentorship sessions, 74 exhibit hall booths, 180 official showcases, 3,430 private showcases, and 84 private showcase rooms, FAI’s 2018 edition also maintained a heavy focus on gender equity within the international music community.

Arriving only a day after the UK majors revealed their gender wage gap figures, an internal FAI tally of 2018 conference panelists, presenters, and performers revealed that 53% identified as male and 47% identified as female. FAI says they are aiming to achieve “gender balance in 2019.”

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These results are from a census of 2018 FAI conference panelists, presenters, and performers. Those identifying as transgender or gender nonconforming were statistically negligible.

Additional highlights from this year’s conference include:

PRS Foundation’s International initiative, Keychange, is a pioneering effort which empowers women to transform the future of music and encourages festivals to achieve a 50:50 gender balance by 2022. Forty-five international conferences and festivals have signed on to join this initiative. Learn more at

Canadian Women Working in Music publishes a Festival Report Card annually which gives festivals in Canada a grade assessment based on a study of gender among Canadian festival performers. Read the 2017 report here. Learn more at

The Recording Academy recently established a task force to address disparities in the music industry in response to the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative’s publication, “Inclusion in the Recording Studio?” The results of their study revealed a lack of diversity and gender balance in the music industry as a whole as well as among GRAMMY nominees and winners.

Folk Alliance International’s full 2018 report is available here.

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