After the annual Reading and Leeds festivals lineup was met with backlash for including the bare minimum of women and non-binary artists – with a total of zero non-male acts as major headliners – Matty Healy from The 1975 has committed to only accepting festival offers that have a more gender-balanced bill.

He responded to a tweet made by The Guardian’s deputy music editor, Laura Snapes, where she gave the Reading & Leeds managing director Melvin Benn a spray, saying that he clearly “doesn’t give a shit about representation.”

She went on to agree with Matty Healy that although Rage Against The Machine is a huge booking for the UK’s massive festivals, they’re also the kind of politically-charged band that should be making more noise about the severe lack of representation on the festivals’ 2020 lineup.

If you haven’t spied it yet, here’s a side-by-side of the lineup that was shared earlier this week, one image with all the male acts removed.

Snapes went on to challenge Matty to include a clause in future The 1975 contracts that they’ll only play festivals that have a higher representation of non-male artists, urging him to lead by example. Matty took on the challenge and said that although there are some festivals The 1975 has already got locked in that might not have a fair balance of representation, he’ll stick to it “from now on.”

Matty went on to thank Snapes for giving him the “kick up the arse” that he needed to work harder on being an ally in the music industry. He then went on to tweet that Reading and Leeds would be a much better festival with more women, and that people are going to start listening.

I’m sure they will if more Brit Award-winning, festival-headling artists like The 1975 start using their celebrity and influence to make some serious changes.

Image: Paigge Warton / @paigge