Kevin Buckle: Powers-that-be don't seem to like guitar bands

The recent report that Scottish arts and culture is dominated by those from wealthier backgrounds would have come as no surprise to anybody.

Saturday, 31st March 2018, 7:00 am
Are indie guitar bands at a disadvantage?

But while there was a call for diversity amongst key decision-makers, boards of arts organisations and their employees, there was an irony not lost on some that a key trait of the ruling middle classes is to look and indeed demand diversity in the art they support.

Worthy aims, such as all people being treated equally and supporting interesting art, have been lost to a system of box ticking that frustrates many and possibly most artists.

Supporting minorities or groups seen as disadvantaged is of course a very middle-class, liberal thing to do and similarly exhibitions highlighting certain themes often seem to be making the message of the theme more important than the art itself.

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In music we have the same problems. Indie guitar bands and singer-songwriters loved worldwide are not what the powers-that-be deem to be the image Scotland should portray and instead we have a constant attempt to show diversity with hip hop and R&B.

While I appreciate it isn’t easy and open to many pitfalls, what artists want from what I can tell is to be judged by what they do and not by what particular groups they can be associated with.

That those judging need to have a diversity of backgrounds goes without saying but again they too need to have been chosen on merit and not because they ticked a box.