More than 25 UK festivals ‘blacked out’ their websites for 24 hours this week as part of a campaign to raise awareness about sexual assault.
Visitors to the sites on Monday May 8th were greeted with a short animation featuring key messages around zero tolerance, consent and not being a bystander to sexual violence at festivals. Participating festivals included Bestival (pictured), Secret Garden Party, Boomtown Fair and Parklife.
The ‘Safer Spaces’ campaign was organised by the Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) to restate the zero tolerance stance that festivals have towards sexual violence. AIF also published a charter of best practice signed by over 60 events pledging to uphold best practice around areas including staff training, provision of support services and taking a ‘victim led’ approach.
The campaign built upon a number of existing initiatives by AIF members and was supported by guidance from experts at Rape Crisis England & Wales, Girls Against, Safe Gigs For Women and the White Ribbon Campaign.
Campaign Manager at the Association of Independent Festivals Renae Brown said: “This campaign is building upon the positive measures that are already being taken by our members. We are reiterating that we have a zero tolerance towards any form of sexual harassment or assault at our events”.
Brown continued: “Our members already take very seriously their responsibilities as event organisers, and by taking guidance from Rape Crisis England & Wales, Girls Against, Safe Gigs For Women and the White Ribbon Campaign we are aiming to tackle these issues in both a sensitive and impactful way – pushing awareness of sexual safety to the fore, while ensuring all those working onsite are properly trained, and that UK festivals continue to provide the safest, securest and most enjoyable environment for their customers”.
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