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Linz – Stadt ohne Frauen

Linz – Stadt ohne Frauen

Election campaign at the expense of musical diversity

Open letter dated July 13, 2015 on the "Spielraum"


We are angry. And we really are. Do you really believe that there are no female musicians in Linz? If your project "SPIELRAUM Linz" really represented the diversity of Linz's music scene, outsiders would think that women don't dare to take to the stages in the city. Fortunately we know better, fortunately there are countless female artists who come from Linz or work here. And, Mr. Mayor Luger: is it really necessary for you to waste taxpayers' money on your election campaign in this way?

But let's leave the anger aside for a moment, it's hot enough anyway. Let's look at the facts: The "SPIELRAUM Linz" event took place on June 3. On the homepage, those responsible praise themselves: "With a double CD, documentary film and concert night, SPIELRAUM combines 4 stages, 16 live acts

Spielraum LIVE - female artists

and 34 current album tracks." And: "As a city of music, Linz is also following the path of the avant-garde, experimentation and the search for new paths. After years of demarcation and self-reference, openness and collaboration are now the order of the day." At this point, we could already interject: demarcation, self-reference - really?

But we are concerned with obvious shortcomings: where are the women, please? Did they want to separate themselves from the cosmopolitan Linz music scene? Certainly not. In the documentary alone, only two female musicians (Anna Katt and Mavi Phoenix) have their say, and only briefly at that. In contrast to their male counterparts, who rant with pathos about their own work, their skills and Linz, the script and picture direction were shot in settings in which the stereotypical role clichés are once again used outrageously - the young "girl" at the fairground and the loving mother playing with "her" child in the sandpit. Their participation on the stages was also minimal: around 46 men were pitted against just three women, the 13 "male bands" only one "female band" and two "mixed" bands. Of the 33 tracks on the SPIELRAUM CD-DVD, 27 are purely male projects, only three are mixed and four are by women only.

For us at FIFTITU%, this lack of recognition for female musicians is a severe slap in the face. Spare us the old arguments like "But there are just so few women in music..." We have been offering comprehensive advice and networking on women in art and culture since 1998. In 2014, we had the annual theme "Feminist Wish Concert" and this year's theme is "Sounds like Feminism". We have brought the GIRLS ROCK CAMP ( to Linz and are working to get young women into music and playing instruments. FIFTITU% has been providing advice for many years and cooperates with the Ottensheim Open Air team and the Stadtwerkstatt. We are therefore all the more surprised that those responsible for the SPIELRAUM venues - Central, KAPU, Posthof and Stadtwerkstatt - have accepted the deplorable proportion of women. So far, we have always received their approval when it comes to making women visible. We therefore invite them to accompany us in the future/continue to protest against such practices.

Our second point of criticism: "SPIELRAUM" is "powered by" Klaus Luger and is proving to be an electoral event. The homepage states: "The best thing for the fans: enjoying this concentrated load costs them nothing. This is made possible by a pool of music-loving sponsors and the willingness of all performing musicians to waive their fees." Have the artists waived their fees because they want to support the mayor, or have they not been sufficiently informed? It can't be assumed that the mayor has "pumped" the project with private funds. Then the proportion of women would probably be embarrassing. But it was paid for with taxpayers' money - so the "concentrated load" does cost the fans something.

It would be sad if this line-up is really considered an "experiment" or "avant-garde" if it breaks "new ground". Because we're not going along with that.

Best regards


This letter was also sent personally to the initiators: Mayor Klaus Luger, City Councillor Stefan Giegler, Harald Christian Enzenhofer, Philipp "Flip" Kroll and the organizers*: Central, KAPU, Posthof, Stadtwerkstatt.

Photo: CD cover "Spielraum" - female artists