Leeds Festival join 100+ festivals pledging to tackle sexual violence and harassment this summer

Leeds Festival is one of the 103 festivals that has committed to the campaign.

1 in 5 festival-goers experience sexual assault or harassment at a UK festival. That’s according to a 2018 YouGov report. Whilst this is what is called a lifetime statistic that isn’t connected event or year- and shows that we need to do so much more to tackle sexual harassment and violence at festivals.

This year, festivals across the UK are hoping to change this, including Reading and Leeds Festival, Bluedot, Dot to Dot, Kendal Calling, Latitude, NASS, Parklife, Tramlines and Y Not? Festival.

The Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) announced this morning that over 100 festivals across the UK has signed up to commit to the Safer Spaces at Festivals campaign.

Image: Leeds Festival

The idea is that the campaign will tackle sexual violence at 2022 festivals and beyond. Relaunching from today, the AIF is working with Rape Crisis England And Wales, Good Night Out, Safe Gigs For Women, Girls Against and UN Women and has updated an charter of best practice developed with input and guidance from experts, which all festivals participating have committed to following.

A statement made by the AIF states that an important part of the charter is that it “states all allegations of sexual harassment, assault and violence will be taken seriously, acted upon promptly and investigated. This will be supplemented by a commitment to clear, robust reporting and disclosure procedures, including how to report incidents onsite and post event”.

Training will also be given to staff and volunteers on how they can proactively monitor and deal with incidents of sexual assault or harassment by specialist providers.

Part of the campaign will see an update in festival policies to include all the relevant health guidance, promote the idea that consent can be revoked at any time and advise festival-goers on how to be an ‘active bystander’ by using a tactic known as the ‘5 D’s of Bystander Intervention devised by the Right To Be’ which include: Direct, Delegate, Distract, Document and Delay.

Image: AIF

AIF Membership & Operations Coordinator Phoebe Rodwell said: “The original Safer Spaces campaign has had a positive impact across festivals for music fans and festival staff alike. Festivals are microcosms of society and sexual violence is a problem that persists in our society.

Our understanding and approaches to tackling the issue are evolving all the time. That’s why it’s important that we renew the Safer Spaces campaign in 2022 with up-to-date messaging, resources and practices, to prevent sexual violence and promote a survivor-led approach, helping festival organisers to fulfil their duty of care at events.”

Image: AIF

Read More: The best music festivals in and around Leeds in 2022 – including tickets, dates and line-ups

For more information, including the full list of festivals that have signed up to the visit the AIF website.

Feature Image- Leeds Festival

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