In 2018, Falls Festival was hit with a reality check by three fiery, fearless, unapologetic women by the name of Camp Cope.
The punk-feminist band took to the stage, replacing lyrics in their 2017 tune ‘The Opener’ to call out Falls for its lack of women acts.
“It’s another man telling us we can’t fill up a tent / It’s another fucking festival booking only nine women” vocalist Georgia Maq belted to a crowd of Guess t-shirts and festival organisers ready to drag her down.
Falls responded with a pitiful statement, explaining the scarcity of female acts as not ‘always available to us at that headline level’, which is satirically similar to an actual lyric in the track: ‘Yeah, tell me again/ How there just aren’t that many girls in the music scene’.
Sadly, but not surprisingly, this is a reality of our Australian music scene. As there exists the communal love for the Corner Hotel pole and impromptu friendships made in mosh-pits, there simultaneously exists the female-identifying artists succumbed under it all. ‘The Opener’ is a song that defies and retaliates this flaw of our music culture.
In the original tune, Maq objects to the second-place spot bestowed upon women in music, wonderfully complemented by bassist Kelly-Dawn Helmrich’s hypnotic rhythm. Maq’s powerhouse voice edges on blatant screaming as she protests the egotistical cis-men of the industry (“It’s another all-male tour preaching equality”/ “It’s another man telling us to book a smaller venue”), lyrics which Maq has denoted as ‘pretty much direct quotes’.
A mixture of Maq’s growling vocals, Helmrich’s formidable talent and drummer Sarah Thompson’s catchy drums, ‘The Opener’ has the perfect amount of angst.
Today, the track protests the male-dominated music industry; fuels a rebellion and makes you dance whilst concurrently being pissed off.
In the future, it will serve as a time capsule to a time when it was acceptable for only nine fucking women to play at Australia’s second-biggest festival.
To hear what's to come in our Conversation Starters series and receive regular updates, follow our Spotify account.