After a successful Eurovision campaign that saw Sanna Nielsen cruise into the Top 3, SVT already have 2015 in their sights and have announced the procedures for Melodifestivalen 2015. As we reported last week, producers have drawn their battle plan and are going big on girl power. Twenty percent of submissions in 2014 featured at least one female songwriter and there will be efforts to improve upon this in 2015 with a 50% target. We’re all about the ladies, but do you think producers should try to manipulate the gender balance?

http://youtu.be/a6pPuAgfRhQ

We already know that Swedish women can write music. And it’s difficult to argue that they are in any way oppressed in liberal Sweden. Ace Wilder’s runner-up entry ‘Busy Doin’ Nothin’ boasted an all-female songwriting team and ladies also lent their talents to a number of other songs in this year’s #melfest including Helena Paparizou’s ‘Survivor’.

This fits into a broader diversity campaign. As a second part of his plans, Christer Bjorkman, Melodifestivalen 2015 executive producer, has emphasised the need for diversity in styles, genres and languages at the competition. There will also be two categories of competition. Undiscovered songwriters can put songs forward for a public competition while established songwriters can field entries for the regular competition.

A third change this year is that the winner of Sventskoppen Nasta – a competition organised by Swedish radio – will automatically qualify for a slot in one of 2015’s semifinals. Submissions will open from the 1st of September and close on the 16th September. No word yet on whether they’ll give women a boost here too…

So where do you stand on the gender divide? Should other countries follow Sweden’s lead?

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Deven O'Kearney
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Deven O'Kearney

Here is my ideal Melodifestivalen 2015 Final Venue: Friends Arena, Stockholm Presenters: Bjorn Gustafsson Gina Dirawi (Bjorn and Gina would be a bit like Caroline Flack and Matt Richardson from X Factor 2013. Bjorn is quite awkward and Gina hosted MF 2013 with Danny Saucedo. Just like Caroline and Olly on Xtra Factor.) Some of the singers I would like to see at MF 2015: 1. Ace Wilder 2. Sean Banan 3. Lykke Li 4. Ulrik Munther 5. Oscar Zia 6. Linus Svenning 7. Ralf Gyllenhammar 8. Anna Bergendahl (She deserved to qualify in 2010.) 9. Jon Henrik Fjallgren 10.… Read more »

Vladimir
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Vladimir

@Sasha
“White dudes”? This is not the U.S., this is Sweden we are talking about, where most people are white. I am male and white, should I feel ashamed of that? This is reverse racism.

Sasha
Guest
Sasha

“No word yet on whether they’ll give women a boost here too” lol literally equal 50/50 & white dudes see it as unfair female advantage and start throwing shade. Reminds me of those studies where women spoke 30% of the time in a classroom and men perceived them as “dominating” the conversation.

israelfurever
Guest
israelfurever

swedish so homophobic, 20% women and where are the lesbian, gay, transexual or travestite, swede are so stupid dont know now we have 20 and more different kind of gender.

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

The most interesting criticism I’ve seen is the idea that male songwriters may draft in a woman to add a few lyrics in order to fit the quota. But then, if this means an up-and-coming woman songwriter is given the chance to write with an established songwriter, isn’t that actually a good thing? I don’t think the quota will see good songs by men miss out at the expense of rubbish songs by women. More likely the male-written songs that miss out will be the average ones that just make up numbers and are never expected to make the final.… Read more »

Vladimir
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Vladimir

I think songs should be selected based on their quality, not based on the gender of songwriters.

Nikos
Guest
Nikos

Completely agree with D. This is just adding unnecessary labels. The better song will always win regardless of whether a woman or man writes it. Besides, when most of us watch the contest are we REALLY looking at the songwriters names that flash quickly on the screen? Not that they aren’t important, but we aren’t paying attention

tvfan
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tvfan

“A third change this year is that the winner of Sventskoppen Nasta – a competition organised by Swedish radio – will automatically qualify for a slot in one of 2015?s semifinals.”

False, EKO this year and Terese Fredenwall in 2013 for exemple were automatically qualify in semi-finals of Melfest thanks to their victory in Sventskoppen Nasta.

Melissa J
Guest

The intent is in the right place, but I agree with some other comments in thinking that this means some mediocre songs will be let though just to meet the quota. The focus should be on good music. Encourage women songwriters to enter! I think it’s a great idea to encourage more language variety though. I love Swedish pop, and it’d be delightful to get an awesome song in Swedish, which is a great language.

Thiefo
Guest
Thiefo

I absolutely support having a more prominent female representation not only on Sweden but everywhere else, but I agree with what others have said already, not sure if setting up a quota would be the best way for that. I just hope we won’t see average to mediocre songs that made the cut *just* because they’re from female writers.

Francheska
Guest

The exact quota itself may be problematic (numerically speaking), but I feel that having female songwriters should definitely be encouraged. SVT obviously feels that there is a need for female representation in Melfest and the media in general, but I feel that an outreach campaign would yield better results than not actively engaging with the female songwriters and then set up a quota.

davve
Guest
davve

I think the simple answer is NO… why should 50% have to be women?? that is stupid

Ani
Guest
Ani

If women are co-writers for 50% of the songs with, let’s say 3 men for the songs it’s still men dominated

D
Guest
D

I am Swedish and I think this is kinda stupid. I mean, this is just enforcing people to get judged based on things such as gender. The songs should be judged on their quality, not who wrote them. It’s great they want women to be a big part of the contest, but I think just some encouragement would be better rather than enforcing this rule. With this rule, there could be a great song that’s only written by men that doesn’t make the final cut because they don’t have enough songs written by women.

Callum
Guest
Callum

I think it’s a great idea. I suppose it’s simply to stop a pure Fredrik Kempe takeover of Melodifestivalen. ( that’s not the reason )

But in Sweden, who are very politically correct in my eyes, why argue?