Strawberries & Creem festival and UN Women UK have joined forces to demand the music and live sectors commit to tackling harassment and make spaces safe for women and marginalised groups.
Along with artists, festivals and industry leaders, the two organisations have co-signed and released an open letter to the industry – acknowledging the pervasive extent of the problem and the need for change. It invites music industry leaders, artists, companies, venues, performers and promoters to come together and commit to meaningful 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.
UN Women UK has 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. The festival is held in Cambridge on 18-19th September 2021.
Chris Jammer, co-founder of Strawberries & Creem, said: “We're passionate about ensuring our events are welcoming, inclusive and safe spaces for people to enjoy music together. Festivals should offer joy and hope to everyone, and they are absolutely no place for harassment or abuse of any form. Equality and diversity are values close to our hearts, and we're proud to have a gender-balanced line-up this year, as well as to be working with UN Women UK on this crucial initiative. We hope that together, we can set a blueprint for what safe spaces should look like for festivals moving forward – for all of our audience, as well as our artists and staff.”
Artists, venues, festivals, music professionals and activists are all invited to sign the open letter and join UN Women UK and Strawberries & Creem in calling for widespread change across the sector.