Gender equality has always been a contentious issue in the music industry. When a British law required companies of more than 250 employees to reveal internal data on their gender pay gaps, Universal, Sony and Warner's United Kingdom reported women working at the music labels earned significantly less than their male counterparts (22.7 percent at Sony, 29.8 percent and Universal and 49 percent at Warner, according to Variety). Not thinking anything of it, HAIM agreed to the rate and was content with it, until learning later that they were paid a tenth of what a male performer earned. The band-comprised of sisters Este, Danielle and Alana Haim-fired their agent after they learned about the massive pay gap. "We didn't think twice about it, but we later found out that someone was getting paid 10 times more than us", said Danielle Haim. "And because of that we fired our agent".
HAIM did not name the festival they had been booked for - or when the incident occurred - but as it stands, the trio are now out on their "Sister Sister Tour", which included a rather highly-billed performance at Coachella back in April.
As the band explained in a recent interview with Grazia (via NME), they were encouraged to play at an unnamed festival for a low fee under the expectation that their performance would lead to subsequent radio play. Here's another problem: we don't know the male group in question, though Haim is representing that they're otherwise equals. I trust them with my fucking life.
"It's scary out there and [messed] up not even to be paid half the same amount". But to be paid a tenth of that amount of money?
The popular band, whose latest album Something To Tell You peaked at #4 on the ARIA charts last July, are among other female musicians who have taken a stand against gender disparity at music festivals.