14 November 2018

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From Helena Hauff to Charlotte de Witte: The female DJs storming a music scene dominated by men

In the notoriously male-dominated world of DJs, we spoke to some emerging and established women behind the decks to discover how they forged successful careers, and how they see the industry today

Helena Hauff, a DJ and producer from Hamburg, headlines festivals and club nights all over the world Madeline Penfold

There is clearly no shortage of female talent in the DJ world, with many already having broken through to become names synonymous with their genre, from the likes of Nina Kraviz, Grimes and Annie Mac. With what looks to be a revival of the clubbing scene in London (after the initial demise of superclubs like Fabric), burgeoning hubs across Europe, such as Berlin and Amsterdam, and the growing appetite for festivals and unique venues from North Africa to South America, it seems there should be ever more opportunities for electronic music artists to enter the industry.

So why is it so many lineups remain male-dominated?

At the end of last summer, I was invited to cover a new music festival in Morocco. Set in a stunning location on the outskirts of Marrakech, it provided an innovative combination of luxury and raving vibes. But despite a spectrum of electronic music artists on the lineup, something struck me.

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