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Listen: The Sound Of Saffron by Charlie West

As part of this series of podcasts about under-represented parts of Bristol’s history, Charlie West investigates gender inequality in the music industry and what Saffron are doing to overturn it.

Feature illustration: Jon Trace

Your Bristol Life

Women, non-binary and trans people occupy less than 5% of the music tech industry and UK festival headline slots are still dominated by male acts.

In this episode, Charlie West, a Bristol-based musician and radio producer, discusses a number of recent reports that examine the scale of the gender discrepancy in the music tech and festival performance industries. We hear from other Bristol-based female and non-binary musicians and artists who discuss their experiences of working in the music industry and the felt impact of that discrepancy.

So what’s the solution? Saffron, an organisation set up in 2015 with the aim of advancing gender equality in the sector by creating safe spaces for learning, community and progression, is one local organisation, with a now international reach, that’s determined to break down the standard of male-dominated music tech and performance spaces.

We hear about the work and community that Saffron has been cultivating and Charlie talks with Sophia Ahmed, Saffron’s education manager, to learn more about the history and aims of the organisation. Artists who’ve been through Saffron’s artist development programme add their voices, discussing the impact that the organisation has had on their career, confidence and outlook as artists.

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