The Gender Barriers in the Indie and Dance Music Scene in Dublin


  • Caroline Ann O'Sullivan Dublin Institute of Technology


Female, Musicians, Gender, Performance, DJ’s, Dublin


This article explores the roles that women played in the Dublin Music scene over the years 2000-2017. Based on longitudinal ethnographic research, it describes the barriers that women face to performing opportunities in the indie and dance music scenes. I outline the motivating factors for women to become involved in music performance and contrast them with those of their male counterparts to see if there are fundamental differences in why and how either gender becomes involved. I posit that the prevailing messages that women receive are often discouraging to their sense of belonging to the music scene. Finally, I contend that rather than women gaining access to the positions that incur capital, they instead continue to find themselves in challenging and sexist situations and corralled into roles that offer them very little in terms of monetary or cultural reward, or they leave the music industry all together.

Author Biography

Caroline Ann O'Sullivan, Dublin Institute of Technology

Senior Lecturer and Head of Creative Media



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