When HAIM Found Out How Much More A Male Act Was Making, They Took Action

"Everything’s so secretive about how much people are getting paid."

In a new interview, sister band HAIM is bringing attention to how the gender pay gap affects women in the music industry. Last year, when the band discovered how much more a male act was making at the same festival, they took action and set an important example in the equal pay debate.


According to Grazia, the sisters — Este, Danielle, and Alana — were "one space below" the unnamed male act on the line-up. "We had been told that our fee was very low because you played at the festival in the hope that you'd get played on the radio," Danielle Haim told the magazine. "We didn't think twice about it, but we later found out that someone was getting paid 10 times more than us. And because of that we fired our agent."

As Alana added, "That's why I love my sisters so much. I trust them with my fucking life. We're all in this together. But it's scary out there and it's fucked up. It's fucked up not even to be paid half the same amount. But to be paid a tenth of that amount of money? It was insane."

Danielle went on to point out that, because of a lack of transparency about pay, it's difficult to ensure that something like this won't happen again. "It's so hard to check: everything's so secretive about how much people are getting paid, and that's bullshit," she said.

Some Twitter users praised the band for how the responded to the disparity, including writer Nell Scovell, who shared a similar experience she had. "I did nothing because I was scared to speak out," she wrote. "Good for Haim for taking the appropriate action."

Equal pay isn't the only issue worth discussing when it comes to music festivals. The lack of female artists at such events is also earning backlash. Coachella has been nicknamed "brochella" because of its mostly male line-ups, and Beyoncé recently became the first woman of color ever to headline the festival. 

Earlier this year, singer Lily Allen spoke out about a U.K. music event called Wireless Festival, by posting a Photoshopped version of the line-up which showed that there were only three female acts listed. 

Hopefully, as more artists and fans express disapproval about these issues, the music industry will make some necessary changes.

(H/T: Hello Giggles)

Cover image: Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock.com


Subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest news and exclusive updates.