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(Credit: Liz Murray)

Music

Isle of Wight promoter apologises for "lady rock band" comments

Isle of Wight Festival promoter, John Giddings, has apologised on Twitter after asking for “lady rock bands” to join the festival’s line-up. After the tweet, the organiser of the historic music festival was scrutinised on social media for his choice of phrase. 

“Please reassess your wording/thought process. I appreciate you are (hopefully) trying to offer women musicians opportunities, but this should be standard, not a token gesture,” one tweet read. “Also, ‘lady rock’ is really demeaning.”

Giddings was swift in apologising for his “wrong choice of words” and clarified he meant no offence in his original tweet. He explained that he wasn’t “using the term ‘lady rock'”. He continued, “I agree, it would be demeaning,” he declared. “Apologies that it came out like that.”

Following this brief furore, Giddings’ next tweet used more gender-inclusive syntax to reiterate his original message. He emphasised that the Isle of Wight Festival wanted to “add more non-cis male acts to our line-up”. Showing good spirits and accepting where he went wrong, Giddings later announced that his request had been somewhat of a success: “After f*****g it up completely (again – so sorry) I am pleased to say that we have over 100 applications for the river stage slot @IsleOfWight 21,” he tweeted. “We now need to listen to them and we will back shortly. Thank you!!”

All this debate follows recent efforts by campaigners and figures within the music industry warning that “urgent” action is needed to improve gender diversity on festival bills.

Watch the Who’s iconic 1970 set at Isle of Wight Festival, below.