TRNSMT organisers defend line-up gender balance as Liam Gallagher and Lewis Capaldi are revealed as headliners
Organisers of Scotland’s biggest music festival have defended the line-up for next year’s event after just two female artists featured in its first announcement.
Lewis Capaldi, Liam Gallagher and the Courteeners, who all have previously played at the TRNSMT festival since its launch on Glasgow Green in 2017, have been revealed as headliners for 2020.
Rita Ora and Little Simz are the only female artists to be confirmed out of 13 names confirmed by organisers of the TRNSMT festival on Glasgow Green - despite a pledge last year by its promoters to tackle the “gender play gap” in the industry.
However DF Concerts have revealed they will be reviving a dedicated stage for female performers at the 50,000-capacity festival in response to feedback from audiences and artists about its creation last year in the wake of criticism over the festival’s male-dominated line-up.
Other acts in the line-up for the three-day event include former Stone Roses frontman Ian Brown, Sam Fender, Foals, Keane, Twin Atlantic, Blossoms and Aitch.
Snow Patrol have been invited back to the festival after being forced to pull out of a planned appearance this summer.
Capaldi will be making his fourth appearance in a row next summer, while Oasis star Gallagher was a headliner in 2018.
Previous TRNSMT headliners include Queen, Radiohead, Kasabian, Arctic Monkeys, George Ezra and Stormzy.
Festival director Geoff Ellis said: “We did have criticism from some quarters last year.
"Obviously we would like to have more female artists in our line-up. There will be more to come – it won’t just be Rita Ora, who is already an arena-level artist and Little Simz, who definitely will be one in the future. We have a lot more to announce.
“But the problem that exists at the moment is that, proportionally to male artists, there is nowhere near as many female artists at each level. We want to try to redress that balance.
“The Queen Tut’s Stage is giving a leg-up to female artists who would not perhaps be on at a festival otherwise.
“Not only will our audience get to see them but it also gives a real incentive to a 15 or 16-year-old who has formed a band to get on that stage in a couple of years time.
“We set the Queen Tut’s Stage up last year so that it would have the best chance of succeeding, as we knew that people wouldn’t really know who most of the artists were.
"I thought it definitely worked well and we’ll be looking to enhance it this year – it’s not about putting a stage on in the corner of a festival.”
Mr Ellis said the festival’s line-up was influenced by the availability of acts who are on tour when the festival is on and audience demand.
He added: “We always a rough idea of the bigger artists that are going to be available.
“We also know thanks to our venue King Tut’s in Glasgow which bands are going to be really hot.
“However, we always do at least one audience survey every year.
“We get a huge reaction when we ask our audiences who they would like to see – I’m talking more than 15,000 – which is one of the best indicators.
“It would be no surprise to anyone to hear that Lewis Capaldi was top of the list.
We’re putting on a festival in Scotland for a predominantly Scottish audience. If we get it wrong we won’t have anyone coming to the festival.
“But it’s not just about asking people who they want as headliners as you would only get people asking for their favourite act.
“Sam Fender, Blossoms and Aitch were all in the top four non-headline acts that people wanted to see this year.”
The first acts for next year's festival, which will run from 10-12 July, have been revealed ahead of tickets going on sale on Friday.
Capaldi, who stepped in to replace Snow Patrol after the band's withdrawal last year, will close next year's festival.
He said: “I’ve been lucky enough to play TRNSMT every year since its inception and to be a headliner is absolutely wild. Things are about to get chubby and sexy, fast.”
Gallagher said: “I love Scotland and it’s an honour to be going back to headline TRNSMT.”
Ora said: “I’m delighted return to Glasgow for my first appearance at TRNSMT, with an amazing lineup on the Sunday. Looking forward to seeing you all - it’s going to be a big one.”
Capaldi said: “I’ve been lucky enough to play TRNSMT every year since its inception and to be a headliner is absolutely wild. Things are about to get chubby and sexy, fast.”Gallagher said: “I love Scotland and it’s an honour to be going back to headline TRNSMT.”Ora said: “I’m delighted return to Glasgow for my first appearance at TRNSMT, with an amazing lineup on the Sunday. Looking forward to seeing you all – it’s going to be a big one.”Twin Atlantic frontman Sam McTrusty said: “It’s going to be wild. We feel so energised with new music we made in a studio that overlooks Glasgow Green. It’s an added special sauce that is going to make this a day to remember for us.”