My name's Lucy McCourt, I'm a 19-year-old music blogger from Sussex, for years I've been highlighting the lack of women in the music industry, however, in February people started truly listening following a tweet I put out of the Reading and Leeds lineup with the men removed which highlighted the stark gender imbalance.
Since then my platform has largely been used to continue speaking out about this issue, in July after a number of my followers shared with me their experiences of sexual harassment in live music settings I impulsively launched my 'Artists Against Harassment' project. It involves bands and artists sharing a photo of them holding a sign with the projects tagline #NotAtMyGig to share the message that they will not tolerate sexual assault and harassment at their shows.
As part of developing my strategy to grow and develop AAH I carried out a survey of both men and women asking about their experiences at gigs, one of the questions was 'What can be done to make you feel safer at gigs'. Both genders told me that they feel safer when there are women on stages and that they'd like to see more of them on stages.
This made me revaluate the direction I wanted to take the project, there are so many organisations out there working to create safer venues but as far as I'm aware there are no organisations tackling this gender imbalance at its roots, education.
I'm really excited to announce that I'm in the early stages of launching my very own charity! 'Girls Excel' will provide young girls from primary and secondary school with the tools they need to pursue a career in the music industry. This will include funding music lessons, creating educational resources, in-school presentations, workshops and donating artwork showcasing female musicians to be put on display in music departments.
As we're all aware, everything isn't back to normal yet, we're still in a pandemic so it'll be likely I won't be able to make my ideas a reality just yet as schools will be taking a lot of time to readjust and there's a lot of catching up that needs to be done. While frustrating is just the situation I'm working with, however, there are some of my ideas that can still be worked with.
To register as an official charity £5000 needs to be raised, I appreciate that I'll be getting nowhere near that any time soon but to have an initial pot of funds that I can work with when it comes to things such as the website, design, marketing etc takes a lot of the stress away from me and allows me to have freedom with the project and make it what I want.
Any donations to help kickstart my journey are greatly appreciated, every penny will go into making this a reality.
We need to inspire the next generation.
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