Music festivals across the UK are tackling the issue of sexual assault, with many sites going offline to highlight a new ‘safer spaces’ policy.
Festivals including Bestival, Parklife, End of the Road and more have all joined the Association of Independent Festivals’ Safer Spaces campaign, taking part in a 24-hour web blackout and signing a new zero policy charter.
Visitors to many festival websites today (8 May) will instead see this gif:
Managing director of End of the Road, Lauren Down, said the campaign was a way to end the idea of festivals as an “ambiguous area”.
“Sexual violence can happen to anyone, anywhere,” she said. “There is an idea that festivals are an ambiguous area – big crowds, lots of alcohol, etc – but no matter the situation, it is never OK without consent.
“It’s important to just bring the conversation out into the open. We shouldn’t be afraid of talking about the issues, because we’re stronger together. We have a responsibility to spread the message as far and wide as possible.”
And Renae Brown from the Association of Independent Festivals said festival-goers should “call out” anyone being inappropriate.
“Don’t be a bystander. Get security, report them. Ask someone if they’re OK. If your mate is making someone feel uncomfortable, call them out on it. Don’t egg them on. Keep your hands to yourselves. If someone says “no”, it means no.
“Don’t be a dick”.