Despite a growing awareness of gender bias in the music sector, there is a lack of research into the particular ways in which this imbalance manifests itself in contemporary music culture. This article combines data from editorial and new user-controlled media to investigate gender patterns in music conveyance, in conjunction with the Øya festival in Norway. It finds that the traditional male dominance in editorial media (music journalism and radio playlists) is both confirmed and denied on user-controlled media (social media and streaming services). While generally favouring male artists, the user-controlled media were especially positive for the female festival artists after the festival concert. This finding indicates that the direct meeting of artists and audience at the festival is particularly favourable to female artists. Moreover, the study’s results show that probing the intersection between music performance (experience) and mediated discourse about music (exposure) is key to understanding the potential reach of female artists in the digital era.
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