Six60 bassist speaks out about lack of female representation at Saturday concert

Fifty thousand people piled into Western Springs on Saturday evening to party with Kiwi band Six60, but even with four acts playing, not a single woman appeared in the line-up.

NZ musician Chelsea Jade tweeted on Saturday in recognition of the lack of gender diversity within the performers.

"Congrats on being the first NZ band to headline Western Springs," she began, "but a 4-act line-up and no women? Woof."

The line-up included Illbaz, SWIDT, Sons of Zion and Drax Project.

The tweet was initially met with mixed opinions, some people agreed, while others accused Jade of tall poppy syndrome.

On Monday morning, Six60 bassist Chris Mac replied to the tweet with his own take on the lack of diversity.

He said Jade had a point, and that he had tried to address the issue.

"I personally want to have more female representation but it didn't work out that way. Wasn't something that was ignored."

He said being the bassist in the band meant he couldn't always make his opinions heard, but insisted he had tried.

"At all times a bass player is as powerful as a hotel hair dryer… it's making noise but it makes no difference. What I can do is make a difference in my personal life and I do," he explained.

Mac told Newshub he didn't have much to say, but he was supportive of his friend, Jade.

"What she said was justified. If it doesn't get pointed out then nothing will change."

He was asked on Twitter whether the rest of Six60 shared his views, Mac stuck up for his band, saying that it wasn't just them, but a whole team of other people who made decisions regarding line-ups.

"One person in a mix of five members, management teams, promoters, etc… it can be hard to steer.

"Again, I know we need to do better. It is something I know is a problem," he emphasised.

Jade told Newshub the problem was systemic, but the massive standing of Six60 within New Zealand music means they are in a position to be making positive change.

"If I were in their position, I would hope to be held to a higher standard of awareness on these topics and I am by no means above examination in similar areas," she said.

Jade noted that some replies to her original tweet implied "that women who are active in the music scene don't have the skill or value required to competently fulfil a role in this context."

"It also implies that we have the luxury to bypass active inclusion at this juncture. We don't."

She said in a stadium with thousands of people, the impact of having females on stage could be huge for fans who may struggle to identify with male musicians.

"I know from personal experience that seeing somebody doing what you want to do helps to make it seem possible. Visibility is key, and Six60 rightly have a lot of it to use concisely."

Jade later tweeted to say she wanted "powerful entities understanding their influence," but didn't like that some people had used the issue to harass the band.