Friday, August 7, 2015

Porispere Is Not A Boy's Club

One thing that I've complained about since I began blogging is how much of a "Boy's Club" the music industry is. Despite the fact that almost every local scene I've ever seen has had its fair share of talented, powerful, and competent women, they always seem to be overlooked in favor of men. And, God forbid any of those women have the audacity to be even remotely attractive.  And even though many men in popular bands, or men that ran respected agencies and forums came out in "support", if you will, of giving women a stronger role in their respective scenes, their actions, or lack thereof, always seemed to speak louder than their words.

This past weekend, I had the privilege of being a backstage helped at the fifth annual Porispere, a three-day rock-oriented festival, with the third day being a "family day" that features popular domestic artists. The festival gets bigger and bigger every year, with this year's Saturday headliner being Bad Religion, and with having Sunday sell out before the gates even opened. Naturally, a festival this size needs a core set of hard-working people to make sure things run smoothly, and a slightly larger group of people in the background to deal with the less glamorous aspects. This year, I was one of those people. I carried large pallets full of drinks, prepared dressing rooms, worked the open bar, sorted the recycling in the rain, acted as a translater, and completed many other tedious, but important, tasks. It was a physical, albeit fun, festival. But, there was one aspect of my duties that I didn't notice until after my work had ended. One detail that, though maybe considered small to many, was huge to me:

Almost all of the people I worked with were female. And, not just females, but pretty females.  There were easily more women than men working at the backstage area. Hell, the promoter's main assisttant was even a female doing her university internship.

Not once did any of the men make a joke. Not once did anyone imply that any of the women were "too pretty", or that they shouldn't be doing "a man's job." Not once Not once did any of the women feel the need to call one of the men to do something physical. Not once did anyone make any sexual or otherwis inappropriate comments. Not once did the gender of anyone involved ever come up.

Everyone working at that festival was an equal. Nobody had to ever mention the words "gender euqality", and, to my knowledge, the promoter never had any kind of agenda. Everyone that showed up to work at this festival was judged solely by the quality of their work - and it felt wonderful.

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