Music News: Iceland Airwaves reaches gender parity goal pledged by 108 other festivals


Natalie Prass performs at PledgeHouse during SXSW
Natalie Prass performs at PledgeHouse during SXSW. (Nate Ryan/MPR)

Amidst a growing uproar over festivals' perpetually male-heavy lineups, 109 festivals recently pledged to achieve gender parity by 2022. One of those, Iceland Airwaves, says it will hit the target four years early. Buzzworthy artists like Fever Ray, Soccer Mommy, Natalie Prass, and Stella Donnelly are among the names already announced for this year's Iceland Airwaves; another round of artists remain to be announced, but organizers say the final lineup will be at least 50% female-led.

The biggest music festivals, though, haven't even pledged parity by 2022. This month's Wireless festival in London, for example, had only three women booked among a total of 40 performers on the lineup. (New York Times)

Congratulations Phil Elverum and Michelle Williams

Mainstream music fans who've found themselves asking "Who's Arcade Fire?" and "Who's Bonny Bear?" while watching the Grammys have a new indie artist to research: Mount Eerie, whose Phil Elverum secretly married actor Michelle Williams.

Williams herself revealed the marriage in a new Vanity Fair cover story. As Billboard notes, "The two share a very similar story and special bond, with both left to raise young children on their own after the death of their partners. Heath Ledger, the father of Williams' only daughter Matilda, died in 2008, and she's been raising the 12-year-old as a single mother. Elverum's wife, musician Geneviève Castrée, died in 2016. Castree was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer and lived just over a year after [the] diagnosis. Elverum was left to raise their 18-month-old daughter."

Billy McFarland faces even more charges

Billy McFarland, organizer of the disastrous Fyre Festival, was already in hot water — and he seems to have just turned up the temperature. On Thursday, he pleaded guilty to an entirely new set of charges regarding fraudulent tickets that authorities say he sold while out on bail in the Fyre Festival case. "These customers later learned that the tickets didn't exist, and that this was just another fraud in McFarland's disturbing pattern of deception," said Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman.

Prosecutors will ask for a sentence of 11-14 years for the collective charges against McFarland. (New York Times)

Metallica base setlists on Spotify, says Spotify

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek says that Metallica look at streaming data from each city they play and tailor their setlists to match the cities' favorite songs. "We've never before been at a place in time where you could make as many informed decisions and understand your audience as well as we can do now as an artist," Ek reportedly said in a conference call with investors. (Consequence of Sound)

Those data aren't available to all users, but Spotify does have a Musical Cities map that suggests St. Paul would really like to hear Trampled by Turtles play "Right Back Where We Started" when they hit the Minnesota State Fair this summer.

Gwyneth Paltrow denies "Becky with the good hair" allegations

Beyoncé’s "Becky with the good hair" continues to be the most-discussed lyrical mystery person since the subject of Carly Simon’s "You're So Vain." Gwyneth Paltrow’s representatives say it's "completely absurd and 100 percent false" to suggest that the actor is the subject of the reference, as model and activist Amber Rose just did in a podcast interview.

"Gwyneth and Beyoncé and Jay-Z are still very close friends so none of this makes any sense," an unnamed source told People. (Spin)

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