I was talking today with a group of friends about the musical lineup during Bele Chere, and from our inspection it appears that less than 20 percent of the lineup features bands with a female lead. What's more, all of the bands with a female lead play outside of prime time, or not on a main stage.
This means that every single one of the prime-time, main-stage acts are male-fronted bands (that's seven out of seven bands).
Does this represent the talent pool here in the region? No. There are an amazing selection of female-fronted acts based locally or regionally, and their voices and messages are both important and beautiful.
While I would not go so far as to say this bias was intentional, I would say that this may be a moment when we can clearly face the fact that even in such a progressive space as Asheville, women still face significant challenges in getting recognition for the amazing work they do.
— Solon David Smith