S&C Productions’ Strawberries & Creem (cap. 10,000) and UN Women UK have launched a new initiative to tackle harassment at festivals and make spaces safe for women and marginalised groups.
The Safe Spaces Now initiative is calling on the music and live event sectors to rise to the call of the #MeToo movement. It claims more than 40% of women under 40 have experienced sexual harassment at a live music event.
The two organisations have co-signed an open letter to the industry which invites music industry leaders, artists, companies, venues, performers and promoters to take action. The letter has been signed by Glastonbury Festival co-organiser Emily Eavis, The Eden Project in Cornwall and mobile ticketing company Dice.
Strawberries & Creem is the first festival to sign the Safe Spaces Now pledge. It is due to take place on 18-19 September at Childerley Orchard, Cambridge. Its organisers recently signed the 50:50 Pledge by Girls I Rate, which is calling for gender equality and diversity in event programming and staffing.
Strawberries & Creem co-founder Chris Jammer said, “Festivals should offer joy and hope to everyone, and they are absolutely no place for harassment or abuse of any form. Equality and diversity are values close to our hearts, and we’re proud to have a gender-balanced line-up this year, as well as to be working with UN Women UK on this crucial initiative.
“We hope that together, we can set a blueprint for what safe spaces should look like for festivals moving forward – for all of our audience, as well as our artists and staff.”
UN Women UK executive director Claire Barnett said, “As live events return following the pandemic, women and marginalised people everywhere are not only thinking about staying safe from the virus – they want to be able to enjoy their right to music, arts and culture without constant fears of violence and harassment.
“We have a unique opportunity as we return from lockdown to reconsider the way we construct and use our public spaces to be safer for the long term. UN Women UK is pleased to partner with Strawberries & Creem on this first Safe Spaces Now live event, and we hope many more representatives from the music industry will follow suit and commit to helping us build a more equitable future.”
Other signatures of Safe Spaces Include:
- Clara Amfo – Radio 1 presenter
- Paloma Faith
- Laura Whitmore – TV presenter
- Beverley Knight
- Sophie Ellis-Bextor
- Yasmin Evans – Radio 1 Xtra presenter
- Becca Dudley – MTV presenter
- Poppy Ajudha