Springfest 2018: Where Are The Female Performers?

(PC: https://www.facebook.com/events/215908259162372/)

At Brandeis, the arrival of April brings a few things: lots of April showers, pre-finals and end-of-the-semester stress, and Springfest! Every year, the Brandeis community gets really excited to attend the event put on by the Campus Activities Board (CAB) and eagerly awaits the announcement of the performers.

Brandeis has hosted so many incredible headliners, many of whom were up-and-coming at the time of their Springfest appearances, including Kendrick Lamar, Childish Gambino, American Authors, T-Pain, and Lil Uzi. However, when looking at the past Springfest lineups, something struck me -  over the past ten years, Brandeis has only hosted one female headliner: Jessie J in 2015.

(PC:http://www.brandeis.edu/now/2013/may/festivalslideshow.html)

Of course, these Springfests headlined by male artists have been very fun - at least the one Springfest I’ve been to with Lil Uzi was exciting - but that doesn’t change the unfortunate pattern that leaves out so many talented female artists.

After discovering Brandeis’ Springfest headliner history, I was truly hoping for a turn of events this year, especially with CAB’s event, the Sherman Function Ball, at which they planned to announce this year’s performers. With the announcement of A$AP Ferg as our Springfest 2018 headliner, I was excited and simultaneously a little sad that another powerful female performer wasn’t added to the list of Brandeis Springfest headliners.

There is no evidence that these decisions have been made with sexist intentions, nor am I making these types of assumptions, but with Brandeis’ Springfest headliner history, it does make me wonder why CAB has not brought in female artists as headliners. It also makes me think about women’s place in music in the last decade and why their music hasn’t been making the top of the charts in the same way that many male artists’ music does.

(PC: https://www.pinterest.com/debbj76/j-j-j-j-jessie-j/?lp=true)

Ultimately, CAB decides who to bring as the Springfest headliner based on whether the students like the artist’s music and how expensive it is to bring the artist to campus. With this in mind, I’m curious to see when the next time all of these aspects will align and bring another talented female artist like Jessie J to the Brandeis to celebrate the end of another school year coming to an end.