Sexual Harassment in the Trad World

I have spent the last ten or so years of my professional life working in the traditional music world as a performer, educator and composer. Right now, this scene is having its #metoo moment with the hashtags #itendsnow and #misefosta. This is predicated on the valiant work of groups such as the BIT Collective, Fair Plé and protestations from 2016 and 2017 around the blatant sexism in our world.

My first awareness of a public outcry highlighting the preference for ‘masculine’ music by the industry and the lack of opportunity for female musicians was in 2016. BBC Radio 2 Instrumentalist of the Year Rachel Newton argued on social media that she felt “overwhelmed by the amount of all-male and more importantly very masculine bands… dominating the Scottish traditional music scene”. Continue reading

Women speak out over trad music scene ‘misogyny’

Women in the Scottish traditional and folk music scene say it is time for “inappropriate behaviour” by men to stop.

Women working in the Scottish trad and folk music scene are calling for an end to “inappropriate behaviour” and sexism by men.

Glasgow musician and lecturer in traditional music Jenn Butterworth says young women have been sharing harrowing stories online about sexual abuse, harassment and misogyny within trad and folk music in Scotland.

“Everyone is fully aware these things are going on,” she told BBC Scotland’s The Nine, and women are speaking out in the hope it can finally change.

Fiddle player and academic Rona Wilkie says more “hair-raising” stories are coming out every week about what young women especially are subjected to from men in the industry.

Rona, from Oban, won the young traditional musician of the year award in 2012 at the age of 22 but she has been performing since she was very young. Continue reading

Concert for Women’s Aid with Sharon Shannon & More

Part one of a four-part series. Meitheal na mBan is an inspirational and empowering series of online concerts led by Ireland’s top female musicians and artists as they perform directly from their own homes, in a much-needed fundraiser to support the victims of domestic abuse.

Some of the musicians performing on the series include Mary Black, Sharon Shannon, Mairead Ní Mhaonaigh, Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh, Julie Fowlis, Nell Ní Chróinín, Lisa O’Neill, Róisín O, Bronagh Gallagher, Wyvern Lingo, Cliona Hagan and Cathy Jordan. The series will be presented by Ciara Ní É.

DONATE: Text the word ACTION to 50300 to donate €4 or online at: https://www.womensaid.ie/donate/

Lankum win RTÉ award

The group Lankum received the €10,000 award for their third album The Livelong Day, and were announced as the winners at a ceremony in Dublin’s Vicar Street last night.

They beat off competition from Fontaines DC, Girl Band, SOAK, Junior Brother, Daithí, Mick Flannery, Sorcha Richardson, Jafaris and Maija Sofia.

The award was accepted by the group’s manager Cian Lawless, who said the group had produced the album despite “financial hardship” and “personal hardship”.