ARTISTS on the bill for Barnsley’s popular Underneath the Stars festival have been announced - and for the first time, the weekend will be headlined exclusively by women.

In putting together this year’s line-up, the team behind the Cawthorne festival have worked with the F-List, a directory designed to give more prominence to female artists.

And they said while having entirely female headliners was not their intention, it shows their commitment to providing balance in the typical male-dominated live music sphere.

“In recent years, the issue of achieving gender-balanced festivals has been high on the industry’s agenda, with many large events coming under fire for their failure to book women,” said a spokesperson.

“Festivals are an easy target. Line-up posters state quite clearly which male and female acts have been selected for the bill.

“It is so easy to scan across all the names which are side by side.

“There have been numerous striking images in social media, where festival posters have had all male acts removed, leaving huge spaces and a lot of names towards the bottom.

“Despite some festivals coming under fire for male-dominated bookings, tickets still sell well, giving the impression that people may not be that bothered.

“If the event sells out, what is the reason for change?”

Kate Rusby, who established the festival alongside her family, will headline alongside Jools Holland-backed songwriter Imelda May and American folk revival star Suzanne Vega.

The festival will take place from July 29 to 31.