It’s no secret that the music industry at large is dominated by men (just take a look at a typical summer music festival lineup for proof), but the underrepresentation of female-identifying and non-binary artists is especially acute within the electronic music community. That’s why, three years ago, Smart Bar talent buyers decided to found the Daphne series, devoting the entire month of March to showcasing DJs and producers who are not cis males.
While Smart Bar has traditionally been a place where diversity is reflected both in the types of acts being booked and the audiences that fill the club itself, Daphne serves an acknowledgment that there is still progress to be made. “The ultimate goal of the series, at least for me, is to render Daphne redundant because inclusivity and representation will be an everyday thing,” Smart Bar talent buyer Jason Garden said in a statement. “We’re getting there—I’m getting there—but, for now, Daphne endures.”Zach Long, Timeout Chicago