Festivals to ‘black out’ their websites to promote safe spaces

Festival generic

More than 25 festival websites including Bestival, Boomtown Fair and Parklife are to be “blacked out” for 24 hours on 8 May to increase awareness about sexual assault at events.

The campaign, launched by the Association of Independent Festivals (AIF), aims to encourage festival goers to play an active role in promoting safety at events with three key messages; ‘zero tolerance to sexual assault’, ‘hands off unless consent’ and ‘don’t be a bystander’.

More than 60 members of the AIF have signed also signed a Charter of Best Practice committing to a series of measures including zero tolerance policy towards any form of sexual harassment at events and taking a victim-led approach to sexual assault incidents.

Renae Brown, AIF campaign manager, 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.

‘Our members already take very seriously their responsibilities as event organisers, and by taking guidance from Rape Crisis England and 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.’

The campaign will use the hashtag #saferspacesatfestivals on social media to increase engagement.

Founded in 2008 by Rob Da Bank (Bestival) and his manager Ben Turner (Graphite Media), the AIF represents more than 60 UK events, attended by over 500,000 people each year.

Visit the organisation’s website to find out more about their work.

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