Cambridge, U.K. festival Strawberries & Creem Festival has partnered with UN Women UK to launch Safe Spaces In Music. The new initiative is a subset of Safe Spaces Now — a campaign geared toward progressing women’s safety in public spaces.
An open letter by the two organizations calls for the music and event industries to take safety matters into their own hands:
“…venues, festivals, studios and workplaces are too often not safe spaces for women, girls and marginalized genders.
It is high time we change that, and we have a collective responsibility to take action. This restart needs to be for all of us. Our spaces must provide safety from harassment, violence, and abuse of power. Music should be a place of joy and inclusion for all.
Let’s make 2021 the year the music and events industries rise up to the call of the #MeToo movement – and commit to change.”
The letter proceeds to name several disquieting statistics, including that 40% of women under 40 have been sexually harassed at a live music event. Up to 95% of victims don’t report it. Workplace culture in particular is to blame for lack of reporting by women in the music industry, argues the letter.
At time of writing, Strawberries & Creem has yet to outline how it will answer this call. It has, however, fulfilled a prior commitment to book 50% women on the bill.
Glastonbury, ticketing platform DICE and multiple high profile musicians have also signed onto the initiative.
Safe Spaces Now launched in March. It has since presented politicians with 150 ideas on making the U.K. a safer place for women. Various thought leaders, grassroots organizations, software engineers and students have participated in the campaign.