Both Sides Now


Both Sides Now is our groundbreaking gender equality initiative to support, inspire and showcase music creators and industry professionals across the North of England.

A driving force for equality across the music landscape, we’ve been working in partnership with an incredible range of venues, creative and cultural organisations, music education hubs, labels and festivals in the focus cities of Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester and Newcastle.

The ambitious programme of work includes:

  • artistic residencies led by innovative and inspiring artists
  • creative commissions with international partners
  • national and international showcases to platform northern artists
  • resources for music education profiling a diversity of women and gender-minority music creators
  • training and apprenticeships in backstage and historically male-dominated roles
  • a public facing campaign shaped by hundreds of voices across the sector
  • a leadership development programme which includes business start-up training, networking, coaching and a brand-new female-led record label

The aim is to create long-lasting change around the roles, representation and recognition of women and people of marginalised genders in music – from the classroom, the boardroom to the stage. 

“Both Sides Now is based around positive, forward facing action – reframing perceptions, challenging stereotypes and influencing change.”  

Kate Lowes, Head of Programmes, Brighter Sound

An urgent need for change

We launched Both Sides Now as a response to the low levels of female participation across many of our music programmes, and an urgent need for change.

Only 2% of UK songwriters and composers registered with PRS are women living in the North (PRS), only 15% of record labels are majority owned by women (AIM) and only 32.2% of employees across the industry are female (CC Skills).

Against a backdrop of #MeToo, conversations around festival line-ups and headlines about equal pay, Both Sides Now is pushing the agenda forward for women and gender minorities in the North of England.

“There needs to be a space consciously created that allows our up-and-coming producers and engineers, writers and composers who also happen to be female a place they can unquestioningly and unapologetically explore passions that might otherwise remain someone else’s domain.”

Beth Orton, Both Sides Now Ambassador

Our funders and partners

Click here to find out about the range of funders and partners helping us to deliver Both Sides Now.

Our Work So Far
Case Studies
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