Open Letter to President Higgins, the BAI, Minister Martin & Irish radio.

For transparency, Why Not Her? wishes to inform its community and the general public that we have reached over 100 signatures on our UpLift Petition that were needed to contact those mentioned below who are in power within Ireland to enact serious changes that can better the situation for Irish creatives in the music industry who have significantly suffered during Covid and Covid restrictions.

On 14th Dec 2021, we issued an email – see below – with the signed petition. It is our hope that those in power will act, and support.

For the attention of President Higgins, Minister Catherine Martin- Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Irish Government officials, the BAI and Irish Radio Broadcasters: 


In this time of economic hardship for our music creatives, we, Why Not Her?, and over 100 industry professionals and people who have signed this document attached, wish to express our concerns with the disparity and lack of equality across Irish radio broadcasting during Covid of domestic Irish artists who are artists of colour, female-identifying and gender non-conforming artists. 


Radio airtime royalties, which are generated each time an artists song is played on the radio, is now one of the sole major methods of revenue for our domestic artists. 

We have attached a signed PDF with over 100 signatures, from the public and industry personnel seeking your support during this time of hardship. 


We are asking for you to assert your positions of power by interacting with the BAI and each other – and in doing so, reach a solution in terms of support for Irish domestic artists on Irish radio especially during this extremely hard time. 


Across Irish radio, music created in Ireland gets about one play to every six plays for international artists. That’s less than 15% of all radio plays. As a result, foreign payments running to millions of euros leave the country every 3 months. This is real revenue, being paid out by Irish Radio as well as commercial users like bars, restaurants etc., through the three copyright/collection bodies, IMRO, PPI and RAAP. When at this time, it can be injected back into the Irish creative sector who badly need it to survive.

To continue exporting the majority of royalties to International artists during such a harrowing time in Irish history will equate to our domestic artists suffering even more hardship.


In the last 2 years, Why Not Her? have delivered Data-driven reports outlining the gender and racial disparity that is present across Irish radio and have worked tirelessly to enact change. You can see all reports here: https://whynother.net/2020/08/01/gender-disparity-data-reports/ While we are thankful to some Irish stations who have changed and shifted towards a more gender-equal and diversified sonic landscape, we urgently need to protect and support the livelihoods of all music acts and bands from our country. 


We ask you all to sit with your respective teams/ colleagues and try to engage in this pivotal conversation to seek a solution to a huge problem of inequality on the airwaves and the lack of airplay allocated to our domestic Irish Artists. 


The team at Why Not Her? are here at your disposal to help with this. We also enclose an Action Plan for radio to learn better modes of support within DEI to learn better work practices that will benefit everyone. 


We hope you will continue to be the agents of change needed to nurture our valued musicians, bands and musical creatives during the pandemic.  


Kind regards, and thank you ever so much for taking the time and energy on this matter and look forward to hearing from you.
– 
Linda & Team Why Not Her?