Programming Diverse Lineups

Posted On: 02/21/2024

Author: Maya Baranoff & Jeff Hyman, Vice President

In the realm of event planning, particularly when programming diverse lineups, certain key considerations form the foundation of successful and inclusive event curation. Much like an offer sheet in entertainment bookings, these considerations are pivotal in fostering an atmosphere diversity and inclusivity as well as ensuring that the lineup resonates with the audience and meets the objectives of the event.

Let’s delve into five crucial elements that are instrumental in shaping a well-rounded and diverse event lineup:


Diversity is a broad topic

Diversity is a broad topic, what falls under diversity? When curating artist lineups, embracing diversity across various dimensions including but not limited to  cultural backgrounds, gender, differently-abled, age, and experience levels – is crucial for fostering a rich, dynamic, and inclusive event. This approach broadens the appeal to a diverse audience and enriches the artistic experience, offering a tapestry of perspectives and styles. Prioritizing diversity in lineups goes beyond meeting inclusivity standards; it enhances the vibrancy and appeal of the event, encouraging innovation and capturing a wider range of creative expressions. In doing so, event organizers showcase social responsibility and tap into a broader market, making the event more engaging and memorable for a diverse audience.


Pinpoint Your Audience and Define Event Objectives

In planning your event, it’s essential to identify your target audience and tailor your artist lineup to cater to their preferences while also introducing them to a diverse range of underrepresented talents. This approach goes beyond merely fulfilling diversity quotas; it’s about authentically expanding the audience’s artistic exposure and maintaining the core essence of your event. Simultaneously, your event goals should focus on integrating diversity in a way that showcases a variety of perspectives, traditions, and art forms for cultural festivals, or highlights the unique cultural mosaic of your area for community-centric events. This strategy ensures that each cultural element not only entertains but also educates, fostering a deeper understanding and appreciation of diverse cultures. By adopting this approach, your event not only becomes more engaging and relevant but also serves as a dynamic platform for cultural awareness and community engagement, enhancing its overall value and appeal.


Mixing Genres, Genders, and Ethnicities for a Dynamic Lineup

In planning your event’s lineup, aim for a vibrant mix of different genres, genders, and ethnicities. This mix should reflect the diverse nature of your community. It’s about more than just showing diversity; it’s about giving your audience a taste of various cultures through your lineup. By featuring a wide range of artists and styles, you’re not just filling slots – you’re opening doors to different experiences and perspectives. This approach not only makes your event more relatable and engaging for a broader audience but also enriches the overall experience, making it more enjoyable and enlightening for everyone involved.


Exploring Creative Avenues for Cultural Exposure

In crafting diverse lineups, consider both passive and active strategies to expose people to a variety of experiences. Actively, you can organize themed events that celebrate different cultures, genres, or eras, offering attendees an immersive experience. Passively, the diversity in your lineup can subtly educate and broaden horizons. Place significant emphasis on opening acts; they are prime opportunities to introduce diversity within the same genre but from different backgrounds. This approach ensures that the audience is exposed to new perspectives and styles, even within familiar contexts. Such a strategy not only enriches the audience’s experience but also reinforces the inclusive ethos of your event, making it more impactful and engaging.


Strategies to Captivate and Engage Your Audience

To effectively engage a diverse range of audiences, including younger demographics and family-oriented groups, consider introducing innovative elements like drag brunches. These events can captivate new age groups and varied audience segments, adding a dynamic and contemporary edge to your festival. By diversifying your programming with such unique and inclusive activities, you not only broaden the appeal of your event but also create opportunities for different groups to engage with your festival in meaningful ways. This approach enhances the overall experience for attendees and positions your festival as a forward-thinking and inclusive destination for many participants.

Leading festivals like Coachella are setting benchmarks in incorporating Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) into their events. They achieve this through diverse billings, prioritizing a variety of headliners that include many performers of color. This year, Coachella has notably increased its lineup of diverse acts. For other festivals looking to enhance their DEI efforts, it’s never too late to make impactful changes. If your festival has yet to feature a female or performer of color as a headliner, aligning this initiative with current goals can be a strategic and progressive step forward.

Degy Entertainment proudly offers a comprehensive and diverse roster of talent, ideal for enriching your event’s lineup. We encourage you to consider incorporating some of our acclaimed Degy acts into your program. Our roster includes dynamic and talented artists like the Kelly Bell Band, Yaniza, and Maddy Walsh, among others. For a more detailed view of our full range of artists and to explore how they can enhance your event, we invite you to visit our website at

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