Are music festivals doing enough to tackle sexual assault?

    Reports of rape and other attacks are on the increase however, from grassroots groups to market efforts, procedures are being carried out to keep guests safe

    F# SEEEE estival season is a time of delight, sunburn and sloshing about in muddy fields. This thriving market which draws in millions of guests each year and contributed to the 4bn incomes produced by the UKs live music market dans 2016 has a dark side. From family-oriented Latitude to the mainly tweenage V celebration, couple of British celebrations appear to be immune from accusations of rape and sexual attack. In between 2014 et 2016, 8 sexual attacks were reported at Reading celebration, a post-GCSE place for numerous teenagers. Dans 2013, a male nurse was founded guilty of assaulting 2 females in the medical camping tent at Wilderness. Simply recently, cops revealed that questions continue relating to a sexual attack on a bridge near Glastonburys Silver Hayes dance field, and an supposed attack by a guard at London one-dayer Lovebox has actually likewise been well publicised.

    While numerous attacks take place out of the method of the primary arenas of such occasions, others happen in the thick of the celebration; dans 2011, a 15-year-old declared that she had actually been raped near to the primary phase of Bestival on the Isle of Wight. I was likewise at the celebration that year, and while the good news is I had a safe journey, I was flashed as I left a toilet, once again near to the primary phase. In addition to more major cases, the event intensified my worry that perhaps celebrations werent the safe, escapist worlds I had actually hoped they were.

    It is not a problem unique to Britain, non plus; précédemment ce mois-ci, news outlets worldwide reported on a wave of sexual violence at Swedens biggest celebration, Brvalla , which has actually been cancelled for next year after accusations of 4 rapes and 23 associated attacks. In action, the comic Emma Knyckare revealed her intent to hold a man-free rock celebration. Addressing her critics, who declared that this totaled up to anti-male discrimination, Knyckare informed the Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet that considering that it appears to be OKAY to victimize ladies all the time, possibly its OKAY to lock out males for 3 journées?

    But is prohibiting males from celebrations actually the method to handle things? This is a concern I put to Fiona Stewart, the handling director and owner of the Brecon Beacons-based Green Man celebration. As the nations just female festival-owner, Stewart has actually needed to discover her location within a male-dominated market for many years, very first directing the Big Chill. Womens security is a subject she feels highly about. Im not truly into any type of special scenario anywhere, Stewart states of Knyckares strategy, prior to including that she does comprehend how that particular case might have demanded a more hardline method. I would be understanding to individuals whove produced that [guideline], since they need to feel under remarkable pressure.

    Fiona Stewart, the owner of Green Man celebration. Photo: Sarah Brimley

    As for security at her own celebration, Stewart manages the entire operation, thoroughly selecting who will deal with the ground from a variety of various organisations. Green Man has actually got rather a mild track record, however with anything like this its in fact quite robust and energetic. We have a really proactive mindset to attack, elle déclare. Its not a reactive thing. She ensures me that if I were to discover myself alone at the celebration at 2am, there would be lighting, security points and stewards within simple reach. Whether as an outcome of her procedures or pleased coincidence, reported attacks at Green Man are practically nil.

    If Stewart represents a market view, then Girls Against is quite the voice of grassroots efforts. The group which projects on and offline for increased celebration and gig security makes up teenage ladies from throughout the UK, such as Bea Bennister, who has actually simply completed her A-levels. She informs me the groups crucial endeavour because forming in 2015 was belonging of the Safer Spaces Campaign , run by the Association for Independent Festivals(AIF)and released this May. As part of the effort, Girls Against assisted them to initiate a 24-hour blackout on celebrations sites and social networks to raise awareness of sexual attack, along with carrying out a brand-new security charter (its tenets: Zero Tolerance to Sexual Assault. Hands Off Unless Consent. Do not Be a Bystander). Amongst the signatories were Bestival, Secret Garden Party, Boomtown Fair and End of the Road.

    While it was a task that captured the medias attention, Bennister is focused not simply on avoidance however likewise on exactly what to do as soon as somebody has actually been the victim of an attack, including that she discovers it significantly crucial that we continue to work as a support group to assist victims and assist them in their next actions after an attack.

    Glastonbury celebration used just a quick action to my concerns on its techniques for avoiding any attacks, directing me to a website where the recommendations was restricted to keep with pals and prevent dark locations. The celebration drew appreciation this year for assisting somebody discover their feet once again after an attack. In a blogpost that acquired countless shares on Twitter, entitled An open letter to Glastonbury, from a victim , Laura Whitehurst comprehensive how the organisers of the celebration had actually assisted her to attend this years edition, after she was sexually attacked by individuals she had actually prepared to choose. As making unique plans for her travel and outdoor camping, she was likewise provided a letter that permitted her access to additional aid from security if needed. Ending her letter of thanks, she stated that the organisers had actually made me seem like a survivor once again.

    of the options.”src =” = 300&q = 55&Auto format =&USM = 12&ajustement = max&s=44e6a9725132c39bb6a67d034093f795 “/> More security training might be among the services. Image: Ian Gavan/Getty Images

    Although cases such as this and the AIF project are relocations in the ideal instructions, there is still more to be done. There is certainly space for enhancement, states Bennister. It is clear that appropriate security training has to be the huge push, however it is significantly tough to call these business, not to mention get them to consent to more training. I believe celebration organisers are uncertain exactly what to recommend, so stick with good friends and move if you feel uneasy prevail options that might not be valuable in all scenarios.

    As for Stewart, she worries that everybody has their part to play in making certain celebrations are safe environments, based on a culture of regard. I do not see this as a female or male problem concern, I see this as a human problem.

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