Runaway June: All-Women Tour Lineups ‘Shouldn’t Be a Novelty’
As Runaway June prepare to begin rehearsals for their supporting slot on Carrie Underwood's Cry Pretty Tour 360, the country trio says that they're already looking forward to all of the new things they're going to learn on the road.
"We're already preparing ourselves for the growth spurt we'll have from just being around [Underwood] and seeing how she operates -- her crew and the way she does things," the group's Naomi Cooke explains. "She has a 360 stage, and it's gonna require an entirely different show from us, to be on that stage. So there's a lot of excitement."
Underwood's 2019 tour is part of a trend of all-female tours: Among others, Kelly Clarkson's Meaning of Life Tour and Maren Morris' Girl: The World Tour feature lineups exclusively made up of women. Runaway June say they're proud to be a part of establishing a greater platform for female artists, and equally proud of how Underwood chose to announce her decision to bring women on the road.
"It was never promoted as an all-female tour. It was never this kind of novelty thing. Because it shouldn't be a novelty," the group's Hannah Mulholland notes. "Hopefully that is going to start to pave the way so that other people feel comfortable doing it. Hopefully that just continues to spread, where we get to be on the tours that make the most sense, with the people that we want to be on tour with."
Adds Cooke, "There's a big conversation about the lack of women on the radio, but there's also a huge lack of women on festival lineups and tours, getting those opportunities. That isn't as much of a conversation piece."
For many female artists, the support of other women in the industry is among the most useful tools at their disposal. On the road, that support is just as valuable: Female headliners can work to solve the problem of gender disparity by including women on their tours.
"I think [Underwood] is doing that in a very classy way. So is Maren. Taylor Swift did it," Cooke says. "I think it's really great that they're bringing women out to these events and stuff."
Of course, the biggest factor that goes into selecting tourmates is artistry. With her decision not to bill the tour explicitly as an all-female lineup, Underwood is not only normalizing the concept, she's keeping the focus on the music.
"Carrie was just like, 'These are the best artists for the job, whether they're female or not,'" Cooke points out. "And that's true."
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