TradFest Temple Bar Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Statement

Traditional music is a part of Irish culture both at home and abroad. As a crucial pillar of strength from colonization to independence, to nation building, traditional music has played an important role in realizing Irish identity. However, as with many traditional music styles around the world, ethnicity often plays a role in who is perceived to play ‘authentically.’ Such perceptions create social barriers to who participates.

TradFest Temple Bar believes in ‘Trad without Frontiers’ – that traditional music has no one definition and belongs to no one people. We are committed to trad that progresses and expands to reflect the rapidly diversifying and multicultural Ireland while also respecting the richness of its history. To do our part in ensuring this future we are committed to investigating issues of equity, diversity, and inclusion as they take place in our own festival. We believe that the best way to ensure everyone feels a sense of belonging in traditional music is to hold ourselves accountable in the areas that we need to improve. We’re in the research phase just now, and our goal is to have a robust equity, diversity, and inclusion toolkit by 2022. This toolkit will highlight the most immediate areas in need of improvement and will be revisited annually to ensure TradFest Temple Bar remains a site for progress within traditional music.

Yearly Gender Balance of Performers at TradFest Temple Bar Festival

As a part of our mission to progress equity, diversity, and inclusion at TradFest, the graphics below show gender representation in all our headline acts from 2006 -2022 including our streamed Dublin Castle Sessions (2021). Here, headline acts are any event a patron would buy a ticket to see.  These numbers represent the total number of men and women on stage.* We have excluded large volunteer groups (DIT Orchestra, UCD Choral Scholars, etc.) because those skew data for paid/professional musicians. To date, all our artists have publicly identified as cisgender, however we look forward to adding more gender categories for future performers. We should note here, there is no database revealing a breakdown of the number of men, women, gender fluid, or non-binary trad and folk musicians either in Ireland or abroad. However, we do know there is evidence of systemic exclusion faced by many non-cisgendered and non-male performers. Festivals are an important part of the musical ecosystem in Ireland and there is evidence that they are an effective vehicle for challenging systemic exclusion on multiple fronts. With this gender report and the comprehensive report to follow, TradFest is committed to being a vehicle for change. 

CHARTS depict number of paid (cis) men and women artists on stage at each headline show (see below)

HEADLINE SHOW – an event a patron would buy a ticket for. 

*Volunteer performers (Church choirs, student orchestras, etc.) are not included

DATA is derived from archived festival programs and media from 2006-2022 and has been corroborated by Dr. Aileen Dillane and Dr. Sarah Raine of the FestiVersities project