It has been reported by THUMP that females, transgender and non-binary people made up just 17% of headline acts in 2016 at electronic music festivals around the world. Move the Needle plans to change that stat.

On International Women’s Day in March, Smirnoff* decided to focus on this gender disparity and pledged to double the number by 2020.

On the 14th of July, the #MoveTheNeedle campaign launched across Ireland and Northern Ireland. There are a series of free DJ and production workshops currently taking place in Galway, Belfast, Cork and Dublin.

Additionally, there was a screening of a mini-documentary featuring ELLLL, a DJ / producer, rising star of Irish techno and founder of the GASH Collective. You can watch the documentary below:

We caught up with ELLLL to find out how and why she got involved with the campaign.

Tell us about these events:
We’re running a series of informal music production, vinyl and CDJ workshops across the country. The events are completely free. Anyone can sign up but the emphasis is on women and LGBTQ+ people. 

How did you get involved?
We started the workshops in February of this year. Our first one was in Cork City in conjunction with Quarter Block Party Festival, and our second in Dublin in conjunction with DDR. The response was overwhelmingly positive. 

Shortly after this, our paths crossed with the guys at This Greedy Pig (TGP).

I was already aware of TGP from their involvement in the arts and local music scene. It seemed like a really great fit to work together on a project like this. They have been fantastic in facilitating us to roll the workshops out across the country this summer. 
 
What's the overall goal of the event and how are you going to achieve that?
The overall goal to provide a safe space where participants feel comfortable to ask questions, share knowledge, exchange ideas, have a go on the equipment - with zero judgment. 

No one is claiming to be an expert in their field, it’s not about that.

It’s about providing a platform.

Oftentimes there can be a lot of smoke and mirrors around electronic music. The equipment alone can be very expensive with most people not having access to it in the first place. Not to mention the massive misconception that women have no interest in music technology.

Furthermore, it’s an extremely male dominated industry where you can sometimes feel like you don’t ‘belong’.

People get deterred very early on. 

The workshops are a reaction to all of this, seeking to promote visibility of women associated with the scene already, as well as encourage new people to get involved. 

What's next?
To continue running workshops on a semi-regular basis, also organisation and curation of more events to promote visibility, as well shine the light on up and coming Irish female identifying producers and DJ’s. 

If you're interested in attending a workshop, check out dates, times and locations here.

* www.drinkaware.ie