Electronic Dance Music has long been a staple in the underground music scene of Europe, with the epicenter of this movement rooted deep in Berlin, Germany. For years the underground scene of dance music has been dominated by men from all genres, but Berlin has seen a renaissance of epic proportions where female DJs are emerging and outnumbering their male counterparts; creating a framework other cities can use as an example of how to build up their scene with diversity and inclusion. This movement has been spearheaded by female DJs all across Berlin and beyond, with some even holding residencies at reputable Berlin nightclubs like Tresor.
With the growth of female representation, a number of agencies have sprung up seeking to help other female artists grow their success and become the artists they have always wanted to be. Berlin has seen a resurgence of female-run booking agencies, record labels, and community groups that seek to put female artists to the forefront of the electronic music community.
Another huge shift can be seen in the lineups themselves. Long gone are the days of all-male lineups at both the club and festival level. All across the world, this change can be seen. With reputable festivals like EDCLV cementing their goal of diversity into the annals of history by hosting the largest female represented lineup to date; there is a huge shift in gender roles in the electronic music scene, one that has taken too long to happen.
For years women have fought their way through the boy’s club that is the music industry, whether as artists, DJs, producers, songwriters, vocalists etc. They were met with resistance, disregard, and outright sexism. However, in places like Berlin and with the help of prominent German female artists the stigma is slowly wearing away. Slow progress is still progress nonetheless and if it wasn’t for these women artists fighting every day to live their passions, women would not be where they are in the scene now.
It’s encouraging to know that there are places where female artists are thriving, where they are accepted and even celebrated. Berlin has been this place, and for a long time, it has been the only place. Things are slowly changing now, and America could really stand to take a page from Berlin’s book on inclusion and equality. Hopefully, this change is a permanent one. It can be with the help of artists like Rezz, Allison Wonderland, and European DJs like Steffi, DJ Virginia, Kerstin Egert, and DJ Barbara Preisinger.
One thing remains true, women are on the rise not just in music but in life. They are not stopping their fight for equality in a male-dominated society and slowly, consistently they are changing the world. Making it a better place for future generations of women who will one day look upon these women on stage and feel like they too can do what they are doing without the fear of being met with resistance or criticism.
It’s about making the world a less hateful place, and inspiring other’s to follow their dreams. In Berlin this has always been true, their passion for music has grown into an all-out trial of strength for female DJs in the German capital of electronic dance music. That strength is inspiring hope across the world, and with hope the trial will continue until there’s nothing left for women to fight for. A world where a young girl can turn her dream of being a DJ into a reality and that success will be celebrated, enjoyed, and passed down to the generations to come. The revolution has begun, what side will you be on?