Keychange Rewind and Fast Forward at Tallinn Music Week

02 April 2024 ConferenceKeychangeMusic Festival

Celebrating 5 years of transformative impact for gender equity in music, Keychange announces Impact Evaluation Report (2018 – 2023) and unveils Keychange Manifesto 2.0 at Tallinn Music Week (TMW) conference this week on April 5 – 6.

A selection of Keychange artists will perform at the Keychange showcase night at the TMW opening night on April 4. 

The pioneering international initiative for gender equity in the music industry urges the global music community to rally behind the lessons learned over five years in its Impact Evaluation Report (2018 – 2023) and to advocate for a brighter future in gender equity.

The Impact Evaluation Report and Keychange Manifesto 2.0 will be launched at the TMW conference in Nordic Hotel Forum on Friday, April 5 under the banner ‘Rewind and Fast Forward’ – a reference to the encapsulation of the project, and the need for fast-tracking change. Conducted by independent evaluator Dr Matina Magkou the report delves into the initiative’s impact on women and gender-diverse individuals since its inception in 2018, as well as its impact on the wider music industry.

Moderated by Christina Hazboun, Keyhange Project Manager, PRS Foundation, the Keychange Manifesto 2.0 panel shares core values and recommendations from 2020 to 2023,  a result of collaborative sessions with Keychange artists and innovators, offering insights and recommendations and serving as an essential roadmap for the future of the industry. It embodies core values including advocating for better working conditions, education, intersectional representation, and safer spaces.

The manifesto will be read out by a group of Keychange members, former Keychange participants and project partners including Keychange representatives Christina Hazboun, Project Manager Lea Karwoth and Pledge Coordinator Aysha Hussain; Music Innovation Hub Project Manager Sarah Parisio, SACEM Project Manager Caroline Wiesike, Senior PR & Marketing at Way Out West Festival Filip Hiltman, production & marketing manager Jonna Eve Eriksson as well as musicians Kiran Gandhi aka Madame Gandhi, Poundo and Tuulikki Bartosik.

Led by Keychange Pledge Coordinator Aysha Hussain and Christina Hazboun, Keychange Project Manager at PRS Foundation, a hands-on workshop for current and future Keychange Pledge signatories will also take place at the TMW conference, to exchange experiences about how to implement change within the Keychange’s spheres of influence.

Christina Hazboun says: “What originally started as an idea for increasing gender diversity in the music industry has now become a large movement of women and gender-diverse artists and innovators striving for change and equity within the music ecosystem.” She adds, “The learnings we acquired are shared with everyone who would like to find out more about how we ran this project.” 

Chistina Hazboun

Empowered by Keychange, TMW was Estonia’s first-ever international conference to reach gender balance among speakers in 2018. TMW has maintained gender balance both in the conference and festival line-ups. In 2023, 51% of the acts on the bill had women or gender-diverse representation.

Helen Sildna, Founder and Head of TMW says: ‘‘We had realised that gender equity can only be tackled at a broader international initiative. And Keychange was exactly that.”

Keychange Rewind Fast Forward programme will also play host to performances of Keychange artists at TMW on Thursday, April 4. Misia Furtak from Poland, Efe Ce Ele from Spain and Anna Bassy from Italy will step up at the Uus Laine Club in Tallinn along with local talents Vera Vice, Bedless Bones, HUNT and Katja Adrikova.

After unveiling the Keychange Manifesto 2.0 at TMW this week, it will be presented to all partner festivals and the European Commission.  

Vera Vice

Keychange was initiated by six original partners in 2015, spearheaded by Vanessa Reed, former CEO of PRS Foundation in response to the gender imbalance within the music industry and the poor representation across all sectors of the industry, including festival line-ups, label signings, and leadership roles. Keychange is supported by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union and led by Reeperbahn Festival (DE), PRS Foundation (UK) and Musikcentrum Öst (SE) Keychange works in partnership with Tallinn Music Week (EE), Iceland Airwaves (IS), BIME (ES), Oslo World (NO), Linecheck/Music Innovation Hub (IT), Ireland Music Week (IE), SACEM (FR), Liverpool Sound City (UK), Way Out West (SE), MAMA /FR), Mutek (CA), and Breakout West (CA).

Since 2018, Keychange has invested more than €2.75m in 306 participants in its flagship talent development programme across five cohorts. Of this, 153 artists and 153 innovators have been supported to advance their careers through cross-border collaborations, facilitating 155 showcase performances for artists and providing over 160 speaking opportunities (as panellists, moderators, experts and trainers) for innovators.