Concrete Jungyals: Leveling the Playing Field
Concrete Jungyals, launched in 2017, describe themselves female-led collective who “empower creative, female-identifying people by providing them with a non-discriminatory platform in which they can showcase their skills and talents”. Being Bristol and Birmingham based, the collective collaborates with event brands around these cities as well as curating their own nights with the ethos of promoting safe spaces in which all genders can enjoy themselves without harassment or judgement. With pushing gender equality in the music industry as a motive, the collective broadcasts female-identifying DJs on their monthly radio show at 10 Twenty Radio in Bristol as well as presenting a talented range of female selectors, producers and vocalists at festivals across the UK. The collective is showing no signs of slowing down, with more collaborations, events and an appearance at Boomtown on the horizon. We caught up with Kati, one of the collective’s founding members, to get the low down on the collective’s highlights, future plans and where she thinks women stand in the music industry today.
What’s been the highlight since the launch of the collective?
That’s a tough one. Honestly, we have progressed at such a rapid rate, and achieved so much in last ten months that it is difficult to pinpoint any one thing. The support that we have gained in this short space of time is definitely the most touching part of all of this for us. From the moment we launched our platform, people were interested by our concept and got heavily involved because we initiated a dialogue around the gender imbalance that exists in many creative industries.
Another huge highlight for us is our expanding visibility within the Bristol music scene and we have managed to achieve so much within one year! We’ve scored a monthly residency on Bristol’s world-famous radio station 10 Twenty, we are ¼ of the South West’s largest female led sound system Coalition Sound which launched at St Paul’s Carnival 2018, we represented Bristol in Eventbrite’s DIY Generation documentary (which came out recently) and we’ve featured on line-ups for Boomtown, Nozstock and Love Saves The Day. We have also held our own events including a celebration for International Women’s Day back in March which saw a mixed billing in line with our ethos for equal line-ups and we have collaborated and curated takeovers for numerous respected club nights across Bristol and Birmingham; Psyched, Tunnel Vision and Free Range are to name just a few!
How did the initial members of the collective come together?
We launched the collective as a result of a mutual feeling that creative industries are for the most part male dominated. Most of the ladies in the collective have a creative skill so we wanted to challenge this aspect of the scene and empower ourselves and other creative women. Alongside this we felt there was a big gap in the creative scene in both Bristol and Birmingham for a collective like ours.
Do you have any plans to host events in other cities?
We definitely plan to reach out to other cities in the UK and beyond in the future. At this current moment however operating in Bristol and Birmingham is working well for us. Bristol especially has one of the best music scenes of any city in the country and so it was the perfect place to launch and operate Concrete Jungyals. We also feel the people of Bristol are very accepting and open to new ideas, collectives, events etc and it’s a very liberal city and so a collective which is pushing gender equality is very well received here.
Do you think the music industry is moving towards a more level playing field?
If you had asked this question pre-2017 we would have probably said no. Issues of sexism and female empowerment are very current topics within the mainstream media because of the sexual misconduct allegations of 2017 which led to a resurgence of feminist energy in the Western world. This resurgence of feminist energy has opened the dialogue surrounding issues women face in the Western world and so therefore has made a level playing field within the music scene much more likely to happen in the future. Additionally, collectives like ours are so important in making this happen, as long as we continue to successfully spread our message and support other like-minded organisations a more level playing field is most definitely on the horizon. Overall, we are slowly seeing more females feeling confident in themselves, and their work, and working toward 50/50 treatment across the male dominated creative scenes which is wicked.