Born out of the growing awareness of just how underrepresented women are in the music industry the Keychange initiative was launched by the British PRS Foundation at Reeperbahn Festival in 2017. It aims at empowering women in the music industry by actively promoting up-and-coming female musicians via international networking opportunities and access to new markets. The goal is to achieve gender equality in the music industry soon. 

In the course of this initial event, Reeperbahn Festival has promised to present balanced line-ups on its concert and conference stages by 2022. Laying the foundation for the Keychange 50/50 Pledge Reeperbahn Festival encouraged other festivals to join this cause. In this initiative, it is up to the signatories of the to decide individually how and where a gender balance will be achieved in their project. A decisive milestone followed in June: the extension of the Keychange program to neighboring music-related companies and organizations - agencies, labels, conservatories, orchestras or radio stations. 

By today more than 250 music organizations and festivals from the music business are striving to achieve gender equality by 2022. 

Established ANCHOR Judge and Keychange Ambassador Tony Visconti is a strong advocate for the initiative: “I thoroughly support Keychange and its aims to empower women in the music industry. I’ve enjoyed working with lots of talented female artists so I’d love to see more young women being encouraged to make music their career. I also like the fact that the festivals are setting themselves a 5-year goal through Keychange – wouldn’t it be great for us all to see a more equal number of men and women on stages and panels in the near future?”
The next step will be to build a network of female artists and innovators across all sectors of the music industry and the territories of Great Britain, Europe, and North America.
Keychange is an international program supported by the directorate Education and Culture of the European Commission and the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media (BKM). Together with 11 European partners, Reeperbahn Festival has applied for funding from the EU Commission to continue the extended Keychange initiative from 2019 to 2023.

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