The O2 and Fabric back White Ribbon festival and gig campaign to end violence against women

The O2 and Fabric back White Ribbon festival and gig campaign to end violence against women

White Ribbon UK, the leading charity working to end male violence against women, has launched a new campaign focused on gigs and festivals. 

The new creative campaign focuses on women’s safety when they attend live music events, with the aim to raise awareness amongst men and encourage them to individually and collectively take responsibility to end male violence toward women and make festivals, and society as a whole, a safer place.

To spread the message, creative agency Wunderman Thompson and White Ribbon UK have partnered with The O2, as the world’s most popular music, entertainment and leisure venue, to run the campaign at The O2, as well as via their social channels and CRM database. Fabric will also be carrying the campaign message within their club, their social channels and promotional materials. 

The campaign will also appear in a nationwide digital out-of-home campaign running across JCDecaux sites.

White Ribbon UK have also introduced The O2 and Fabric to Good Night Out, who are working closely with them to ensure all staff are fully trained and safety protocols are in place, such as having a safe space for women should they need it.

Statistics show that two in five women have experienced sexual harassment at gigs and festivals, but the onus has often been put on women to keep themselves safe. This pro-bono campaign from Wunderman Thompson subverts the tropes of festival and gig posters and aims to highlight that men need to change their behaviour so that festivals and gigs become safer spaces for women.

What appears to be a typical festival or gig poster actually reveals the issue of violence against women and calls out how men can be a key part of the solution by owning problematic behaviour and calling out sexism, abuse or assault if they see it.

Festival names or gig titles have been created to capture attention and flag the issues such as, ‘Assault on the Dancefloor’, ‘Blind Eye Weekender’ and ‘Summertime Silence’, while headline acts have been replaced with copy that reflects unacceptable behaviour such as groping, harassment and cat calling.

Anthea Sully, chief executive, White Ribbon UK, said: “Ultimately violence against women will only end if men take responsibility for their own behaviour and are also prepared to call out harassing and abusive behaviour when they see it. Venues and festivals being absolutely clear about the culture they want to see can make a significant difference. That is why we are pleased that the O2 Arena and Fabric are supporting us to get the message across. Women must be able to have a great time when they go to clubs, venues and festivals without fear of harassment or violence. We expect all men to make the White Ribbon Promise to never use, excuse or remain silence about male violence against women."

Danielle Kennedy-Clarke, deputy general manager at The O2, added: “As the world’s most popular music, entertainment and leisure venue, the safety of our visitors is of paramount importance to us. Whether someone is visiting The O2 to shop, dine or attend a show in the arena, we need to ensure that they can do so safely, and without fear. With the world class acts we have performing at The O2, we want our visitors to leave with memories that will last a lifetime, and so we’re proud to support and collaborate with White Ribbon UK and Good Night Out to continue the important work of making our venues a safer space for women.”

Jo Wallace, creative director at Wunderman Thompson, said: “With restrictions lifted, we should all be looking forward to going out and having fun, but the fact of the matter is that women and girls can be targets and attend events knowing that there is a very real possibility they will experience sexual harassment. With this campaign we aim to clarify that the responsibility to change this situation and behaviour sits with men. Through our partnership with White Ribbon UK we hope more men will make the White Ribbon promise and end male violence against women for good.”

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