FairPlé to you

I’ve just stumbled across an organization called FairPlé. For years, as a man, I felt the way to achieve equality for all is to practice equality and not promote something because of the gender makeup of its participants. I like bands I like because of their sound, I like authors because of the way they write and artists because of their creativity. But in a world of imbalance is that enough? I don’t think so anymore and while riot grrl seems to have quietened down there are huge amounts of women acting as influencers and providing inspiration for grrls with guitars to join bands and speak up.

We all know how empowering it is to be part of a louder voice. Even amongst protest when the water movement in Ireland swelled it gave confidence to people to speak out. That can be the case for people in bands. When their peers are speaking out and leading by example they see it’s ok to do this or I can do it too. That’s what i love about bands like dream nails, menstrual cramps, pillow queens, alien she and petrol girls. They are what they are and can be a flame for others. Fair Ple is kind of like the Irish version of loud women but for Irish folk and traditional music.

FairPlé aims to achieve gender balance in the production, performance, promotion, and development of Irish traditional and folk music. Their manifesto is to advocate for equal opportunity and balanced representation for all.


• Initiating a discussion in relation to gender-balance and fair practice at work in all capacities.

• Advocacy, mentoring programmes, and promoting more equal opportunity for women in the industry.

It’s a bit music industry based and I feel that maybe below it all there is a still a vulture ready to try and profit from their participation but it is a positive step. They are putting on Rising Tides which is a concert including leading folk and traditional artists celebrating the creative contribution of women in Irish music on Sunday September 9th, 7:30pm, Liberty Hall Dublin.

Artists on the night are The Friel Sisters, Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh, Síle Denvir, Barry Kerr & Dónal Lunny, John Spillane, ATLAS, Niamh Parsons & Graham Dunne, Emma Langford, Úna Monaghan, Amy Campbell, Jane Walls and Séan McKeon. Funded by The Arts Council Of Ireland, the evening will highlight the activism of FairPlé in the area of gender balance in traditional and folk music.

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