Æ MAK's Dundalk frontwoman thrilled to be chosen for gender equality music festival program

Aoife McCann did an interview with NME.com today

Tia Clarke

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Tia Clarke

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Aoife McCann

Æ MAK's Aoife McCann pictured in Classified by Records in Dundalk by Katie Ball

The frontwoman from Irish alternative pop band Æ MAK, who is from Dundalk, has told the NME's website how she is thrilled to be the first band to be chosen for a program which will help address gender equality at major music festivals. 

Aoife McCann told the NME: "It’s great to just be given that opportunity for our name to be out there."

The Leeds-based project, which is being run by Festival Republic, will run for three years. As part of the program, they will provide one week's studio recording to a female musician, solo artist or female-featuring band each month from 2018 through 2020. Studio and engineering costs will be covered by Festival Republic. 

Artists will also be given slots at a Festival Republic or Live Nation festival. 

As part of the programme, Ae Mak will make their UK Festival debut at Latitude this summer in Suffolk this summer which will be headlined by Alt-J.

“We’re playing the same day as Alt-J as well, so that’s very exciting”, Aoife McCann told the NME. 

"I’m looking forward to going to them maybe more than our slot. Yeah, it’s fantastic, we wouldn’t have got it without this and it’s great to just be given that opportunity for our name to be out there.


“It’s hard when you’re an up and coming band in Ireland to get out of this industry and get your foot in the door in the UK because there’s so many bands." 

Aoife, who wrote about being a female in the Irish music industry   for The Thin Air magazine to mark International Women's Day 2018, added that whilst she welcomes more females entering the music industry, she hopes that female musicians are picked on the quality of their work.  

Aoife told the NME: "I don’t think festivals should be 50/50 because it should be based on quality of music and merit, you know? So I think the fact that it’s being addressed is brilliant, and the culture change, and the fact that for women in the music industry who want to make a professional career out of it.

"The culture has changed completely and it’s so much more accessible now and it’s brilliant that they’re welcoming it and they’re putting this programme in place. But I’d just be afraid that it could go the opposite way. I’d just rather be picked on for something on my own merit and not as a woman.”

Keep up to date with Æ MAK's live dates and new music releases by visiting: https://www.aemakmusic.com/