. @SandCFestival and @UNWomenUK have joined forces to unite on Safe Spaces Now initiative for women's safety in music
Author: Tom Dingley | Friday 13th August 2021
Strawberries and Creem Festival have joined forces with UN Women UK to rise awareness for the Safe Spaces initiative for women's safety in music.
Ahead of festival season and events returning, Strawberries & Creem and UN Women UK have joined forces to demand the music and live sectors to rise to the call of the #MeToo movement – by committing to tackle harassment and make spaces safe for women and marginalised groups. This is an incredibly important initiative and the Safe Spaces Now pledge asks companies, events and venues to commit to improving safety by implementing new measures – with Strawberries & Creem 2021 the pilot event.
More than 7 in 10 women in the UK have been sexually harrassed and over 40% of women under 40 have been sexually harrassed at a live music event. These figures are the exact reason that this initiative is being focused on more and more and it highlights that something needs to be done to help women feel safer at live music events whether that's artists, fans or people working at the events.
Along with artists, festivals and industry leaders, the two organisations have co-signed and released an open letter to the industry – recognising the true extent of the problem and the real need for change. It invites music industry leaders, artists, companies, venues, performers and promoters to come together and commit to taking serious action. The letter has already been signed by leading industry figures – such as The Eden Project, Mabel, Rudimental and Clara Amfo – encouraging more music and events industry businesses to join Strawberries & Creem in recognising their collective responsibility to make their spaces safer and commit to tackling violence and harassment.
By bringing together women, girls and marginalised groups across the UK, UN Women UK have created 150+ solutions for safe spaces, which include music events, nightlife and festivals. These include redesigning spaces, addressing behaviour within them, inclusion within staff teams, and training to recognise potential abuse and respond appropriately.
Claire Barnett, Executive Director of UN Women UK, said: “As live events return following the COVID 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.”
Strawberries & Creem is leading the way by becoming the first pilot event to sign the Safe Spaces Now pledge – committing to developing and delivering a safety-focused strategy, in close collaboration with UN Women UK, at its festival held in Cambridge on 18-19th September 2021.
You can help to create positive change across the industry and create safe spaces in music for women in marginalised groups. Sign the letter by visiting the following link.