More than 100 UK music festivals pledge to tackle sexual violence

Policies, procedures and training will be revised to adopt a survivor-led approach

Louis Chilton
Monday 16 May 2022 09:00 BST
Laura Bates discusses how sexual violence affects the everyday lives of women and girls

More than 100 UK music festivals have made a pledge to tackle sexual violence with a survivor-led approach.

Parklife, Latitude and Boardmasters are among the festivals to make the commitment, following widespread concern over the way festivals are currently dealing with incidents of sexual violence.

In total, 103 festivals have signed up to the Safer Spaces at Festivals campaign, which has been relaunched by The Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) after first being instigated in 2017.

Charities such as Rape Crisis England and Wales, Good Night Out and Safe Gigs for Women will provide festivals with input and guidance in shaping their policies, procedures and training.

All 103 festivals will also commit to an updated charter of best practice, stating that all allegations of sexual harassment and assault will be taken seriously, investigated and acted upon quickly.

AIF membership and operations coordinator Phoebe Rodwell said: “The original Safer Spaces campaign has had a positive impact across festivals for music fans and festival staff alike. Festivals are microcosms of society and sexual violence is a problem that persists in our society. Our understanding and approaches to tackling the issue are evolving all the time.

“That’s why it’s important that we renew the Safer Spaces campaign in 2022 with up-to-date messaging, resources and practices, to prevent sexual violence and promote a survivor-led approach, helping festival organisers to fulfil their duty of care at events.”

If you have been raped or sexually assaulted, you can contact your nearest Rape Crisis organisation for specialist, independent and confidential support. For more information, visit their website here.

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