More than 100 music festivals across the UK have signed a pledge to tackle sexual harassment, assault and violence at events.
In the charter first penned by the Association of Independent Festivals (AIF), the organisation promised that “all allegations of sexual harassment, assault and violence will be taken seriously, acted upon promptly and investigated”.
The campaign first launched in 2017 under the title Safer Spaces at Festivals and has since relaunched after multiple years without live events with 103 signees.
Also involved in the new charter is charity organisation Rape Crisis England and Wales, as well as Safe Gigs for Women who are set to provide guidance and information on shaping policies, procedures and training.
“Festival-goers deserve to know that if they report sexual assault they will be listened to and believed and that those working on site are equipped to handle all reports with knowledge and empathy,” says Kelly Bennaton, communications officer at Rape Crisis England and Wales.
“They also deserve to know that festivals are taking a proactive approach in preventing sexual assault, and that abusive behaviour will not be tolerated.”
The charter of best practice has been set up with the aims of the wider music industry to take on correct measures and follow the lead of organisations such as AIF.
With reference to a 2018 YouGov poll, the campaign also notes that one in five festival-goers have suffered sexual harassment or assault at a UK festival.
“That’s why it’s important that we renew the Safer Spaces campaign in 2022 with up-to-date messaging, resources and practices,” says Phoebe Rodwell, the AIF’s membership and operations coordinator.
“To prevent sexual violence and promote a survivor-led approach, helping festival organisers to fulfil their duty of care at events.”
Find out more about the updated charter here.
Gemma Ross is Mixmag's Editorial Assistant, follow her on Twitter