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PRS Foundation to launch new female focussed music industry development programme at Reeperbahn

By | Published on Thursday 14 September 2017


The PRS Foundation has announced a new two year project called Keychange, aiming to empower women in the music industry. Launching at the Reeperbahn festival next week, the initiative will hold events at seven showcase festivals around the world, before a final event at the European Parliament in Brussels in 2019.

The new programme is backed by €200,000 of EU funding, as part of the Creative Europe programme. At its heart will be a talent development programme, aiming to help more women get ahead in music.

On 22 Sep at Reeperbahn in Hamburg, 60 participants in the two year programme will be announced. There will also be a panel discussion on how to empower those underrepresented in the music industry, featuring Garbage’s Shirley Manson, Metric’s Emily Haines, Nadine Shah and PRS Foundation chief executive Vanessa Reed, among others.

From there, Keychange will host events, including discussions and practical sessions, at festivals such as Way Out West in Sweden, Iceland Airwaves, and The Great Escape in the UK. The final aim is to present a manifesto for change in the music industry. In particular, there will be a focus on improving the low number of women who are registered as songwriters with collecting societies like PRS – at the UK society, currently just 16% of the membership is female.

“Reeperbahn Festival is rightly proud to be the German partner in the Keychange initiative”, says Reeperbahn founder Alexander Schulz. “We look forward to presenting the project’s launch and working alongside some very impressive, like-minded events with the distinct aim of making a meaningful difference and lasting improvement to the way women in our industry are involved and included in music festivals, conferences, and the business environment in general”.

Vanessa Reed adds: “European and international collaboration is essential to the creative and business development of all talented artists and the music industry’s future success. Keychange’s focus on enabling more women to access international networks and new markets at critical stages in their career will help them realise their potential as future leaders of an industry that is ready for and will benefit from change”.

The initial panel discussion will take place at Reeperbahn at the Arcotel Onyx at 12.30pm on 21 Sep, followed by the official launch and announcement of Keychange’s 60 participants at the East Hotel Private Cinema on 22 Sep at 10am. More information here.