Both Sides Now


Brighter Sound is pushing the agenda forward for women and people of marginalised genders in the North of England.

Read/listen to All Things Equal – our Manifesto for Gender Equality in Music

About Both Sides Now

In 2017 we launched Both Sides Now – a large-scale, research-led gender equality initiative focused on positive action. Our aim was to influence change at all levels – from the classroom to the boardroom, onstage and backstage.

Working in partnership with an incredible range of venues, creative and cultural organisations, music education hubs, labels and festivals across the North of England, we supported:

  • 500 creatives to collaborate, build networks and make music
  • The creation of 200+ new pieces of music
  • 45+ showcases and performances nationally and internationally
  • 35 traineeships in backstage and technical roles
  • 120 development opportunities for emerging leaders
  • The development of an equality-focussed curriculum resource, reaching 1.2 million children nationally

“When you are a minority within a larger group or industry, you can draw such strength and encouragement from meeting and collaborating with other people like you. This has made me feel as if there is room for me” 

Both Sides Now residency participant

The Manifesto

Gender equality in music is being discussed and debated more than ever. But there is still a huge gap between what’s talked about and the reality of the industry.

Our Manifesto for Gender Equality in Music was developed with contributions from hundreds of intersectional voices as part of Both Sides Now.

It launched on International Women’s Day 2022 at Depot Mayfield in Manchester. The launch event also featured the premiere of a large-scale and immersive audiovisual installation by Urban Projections (Rebecca Smith) with custom soundtrack by “genre-splicing genius of British electronic music” Loraine James, and spoken word by Princess Arinola Adegbite.

Our research process highlighted 5 individual areas that need to change: Education, Talent Development, Live Music, Parents & Carers and Leadership.

Find out more and be part of the change


We champion and celebrate everyone who experiences sexism and cissexism inclusive of all identities, backgrounds, social classes, ages, bodies, races, ethnicities, religions and disabilities.

This includes but is not limited to:

  • All Women, including Trans Women
  • Non-Binary and Agender People
  • Gender Fluid and Genderqueer People
  • Trans Man and Trans Masculine People
  • Intersex People
Thank you

Thank you to our incredible partners and supporters who have helped us to deliver this work, and the Both Sides Now community for sharing their experiences and helping to shape the manifesto.

Both Sides Now was supported by National Lottery funding through Arts Council England, Youth Music, Help Musicians UK, PRS Foundation, GMCA and Manchester City Council.

Our Work So Far
Case Studies
Get Involved