A workshop focused on ‘How to Make Gigs Safer’, which recently took place at Parish in Huddersfield, was attended by live music promoters, venue and security staff to address issues around sexual harassment at live music events. The workshop was a chance for these challenging issues to be explored in a supportive environment, with feedback from other venues, researchers and organisations that support positive action.
Groping and sexual harassment are, sadly, an all too common problem at gigs, especially (but not exclusively) for women. Unwanted sexual attention and touching causes serious long-term harm to victims/survivors and puts them in immediate danger. It significantly reduces victim’s/survivor’s pleasure in the music, and it also damages venues’ reputations.
The event drew lots of vibrant discussion and was an opportunity for participants to ask questions and get advice from Good Night Out (specialists in training venue staff in how to deal with sexual harassment) http://www.goodnightoutcampaign.org/ and White Ribbon (who help venues to make cultural changes towards ending violence against women), https://www.whiteribbon.org.uk/. There was also an inspiring talk by the Brudenell Social Club about the positives outcomes they’ve experience having worked with both Good Night Out and White Ribbon.
The workshop programme was developed by Dr Rosemary Lucy Hill. A Senior Lecturer in Media Studies in the School of Music, Humanities and Media at University of Huddersfield, Lucy is researching gender, popular music and big data, and is currently investigating sexual violence at live music events.
There are 2 documents that cover some of the content and advice from the workshop which can be downloaded:
The Healthy Music Audiences guidelines
This short booklet outlines five ways to combat sexual harassment, groping and assault at gigs
The Healthy Music Audiences report
This longer document sets out the findings from the first phase of the research and complements the guidelines. https://research.hud.ac.uk/media/assets/document/music/Report.pdf