For Oslo World, working for the greatest possible diversity, whether we are talking about gender, genre or origin, is at the heart of the festival. Our job is in many ways to level out this landscape, and in that way expand what both the audience and artists think is possible. What they can expect. In the long run, increased diversity on stage is an investment in a larger, more varied audience and in a larger supply of interesting artists. There is a lot of work left, not least behind the scenes, in technical crews and in the artistic management of festivals.
Oslo World is a partner festival in the pioneering international initiative Keychange, which works systematically to transform the future of the music industry. Keychange 1.0 was launched by the PRS Foundation in London in 2017 and quickly gained a number of major festivals and supporters. The project simply encourages festivals and music organizations to achieve a 50/50 gender balance by 2022. We are then talking about gender balance in all stages of production.
Oslo World was among the very first festivals to sign the pledge in 2017. In the 2.0 project, which was launched in the autumn of 2019, the ambitions were extended to apply to several forms of representation - both gender, sexuality and place of origin. Oslo World went from being one of the festivals that signed the appeal, to becoming one of 13 partner organizations.
Today, more than 300 music institutions and organizations have signed the pledge. Record labels, festivals and clubs, as well as orchestras, are behind the initiative. In 2019, Keychange applied for support from the European Commission and was granted a significant amount via the Creative Europe program. Oslo World has since then also acquired Talent Norway and Norsk Tipping as partners.
Keychange emphasizes talent development, collaboration and making resources available. In December 2019, the 13 partner festivals gathered in London and selected 74 artists and innovators from all over Europe and Canada, who in the coming years will participate in international festivals and industry events, collaborate and participate in an international development program, lead by Keychange. The first six Norwegian participants who were selected are: Ella Marie Hætta, Miss Tati, Charlotte Bendiks, Amira Morstaq Ali, Kine Lundevall and Jenny Gunn.
Today and until 2023, Keychange is led by Reeperbahn Festival, PRS Foundation and Musikcentrum Öst, supported by the Creative Europe program in the EU, in collaboration with Oslo World, Tallinn Music Week, Iceland Airwaves, BIME, Linecheck / Music Innovation Hub, Ireland Music Week, SACEM, Liverpool Sound City, Way Out West, Spring Break, MAMA, Mutek and Breakout West.