Produced by #bossbabesATX, BABES FEST is an independent comedy, music and film festival. Since we launched in March 2016, we’ve showcased more than 80 artists in Texas and partnered with institutions, cultural organizations and producers to improve gender equity in their programming.
To understand what we do, it's best to start with our herstory. At our inaugural event at the Salvage Vanguard Theater, we transformed the theatre into a one-day warehouse party, featuring 27 acts in comedy, music and film. Shortly thereafter, we produced a series of two panels and network events for women in comedy, film and music in New York City (attended by artists like Jessica Williams and Katja Blichfield). From the hype of these initial events, we’ve partnered with the Bullock Museum on their #femmefilmfridays series, produced a screening for independent films produced and directed by women at Sekrit Theater and begun an international training program for cultural producers invested in gender equity. Most recently, in July of 2017, we hosted BABES FEST for the second time, transforming a one-day event into a three days of comedy, music and film. Showcasing 50+ acts, the event saw 1500+ attendees.
We believe BABES FEST’s blend of comedy, film and music provides a multi-industry, cross-platform experience for our community—one that allows for unexpected discovery, inspiration and wonderment. And if it’s not apparent, we include women in 100% of acts on the lineup.
Half of the people who attend music festivals are women, but the percent of women performers (single artists and all-women groups) hover between 5 and 19 percent. — HuffPost Data
51% of visual artists today are women; on average, they earn 81 cents for every dollar made by male artists. — National Museum for Women in the Arts
The gender divide across all music-industry related jobs is 67.8% male to 32.2% female. — Creative and Cultural Skills
In 2016, women comprised 17% of all directors, writers, producers, executive producers, editors, and cinematographers working on the top 250 domestic grossing films. — Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film
Less than 30% of TV writers are female, even though, on average, women watch 40 more minutes of TV per day than men. — Nielsen Report
In 2015, 3.4 percent of film directors were female, and only 7 percent of films had a cast whose balance of race and ethnicity reflected the country's diversity. — Media, Diversity and Social Change Initiative at USC's Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism
Not so fun fact: There aren't many stats about women in comedy. After reviewing rough guesstimates from different members of the industry (of which there are too many to list here), we have gathered that women comedians seem to comprise anywhere from 5% to 25% of comedy shows. To put this into perspective, by our count, only 20% of women comedians comprised the SXSW Comedy Lineup in 2017.
*It's important to note that the above statistics mostly factor gender alone into the equation; depending on a woman's other identities (regarding race, sexuality, socioeconomic background, culture, religion, etc.) these statistics become even grimmer.
The moral of the story? Intentional and appropriate representation = better art.
We believe the definition of "woman" is complex and varied and cannot be limited to the conventional, historical standards/expectations women have been held to. We prioritize voices from different backgrounds, sharing a variety of cultures, races, sexual orientations, etc.
We'd love to hear from you.