An open letter on safety in music workplaces has been sent to Minister for Women and Equalities Kemi Badenoch (pictured).
Organised by the ISM, the letter calls for changes in legislation that would make music workplaces safer.
It coincided with the second evidence session of the misogyny in music inquiry in Parliament. During the session, MPs explored the support available to women experiencing sexism or misogyny in the music industry, including reporting harassment and discrimination, as well as women’s safety at live music events.
Witnesses giving evidence to MPs included: Vick Bain, founder, The F-List For Music; Mel Kelly, volunteer and member of management team, Safe Gigs For Women; Nadia Khan, founder, Women In CTRL; and Vanessa Threadgold, founder and MD, Cactus City Studio.
More than 700 individuals have signed the open letter organised by ISM, including musicians, those who work in music and those in leadership positions including chief executive officers and general secretaries.
The letter calls on the government to take several measures including amending the Equality Act 2010 to ensure that all those working in the music sector are protected, including freelancers, and provide clearer definitions around worker status.
It also recommends that ministers reintroduce rights around third-party harassment to protect those who experience discrimination from audience members, clients or customers.
The open letter also calls for extending the time limit for bringing discrimination cases from three months to six months.
Signatories include chief executives of bodies including UK Music, PRS, PPL, Help Musicians, Black Lives in Music, the Association of British Orchestras, Creative UK, the Featured Artists Coalition, the Association of Independent Music, the Ivors Academy, Music Publishers Association and the Music Managers Forum.
The open letter encourages Women & Equalities Minister Kemi Badenoch to support music, stating, “By taking steps to improve our sector, you will not only be helping to keep us, as workers, safer: you will be contributing to strengthening a world-leading industry. Our industry will be stronger if it is safer.”
Deborah Annetts, ISM chief executive, said: “For over 700 individuals to come together and publicly demand change in this way is extraordinary and shows how deeply held the desire for improvement is. The music sector has today sent a strong message to the government and I hope that Kemi Badenoch listens and acts.
“The open letter calls for five changes which if implemented would make a big difference to music workplaces and the incredible music workforce, going a long way to make our sector safer and more inclusive for everyone. The ISM wants to see a music sector free from discrimination and harassment and I thank everyone who has supported this letter.”
Vick Bain, president of the ISM and founder of The F-List, said: “The number of signatories to our open letter sends a clear message to Kemi Badenoch. Music is an industry where people achieve phenomenal things and to keep producing wonderful music, we need action to make our freelancers and music workplaces safer. The response to our work to eradicate bullying and harassment has been phenomenal, and that’s because it sadly resonates with the music workforce.
“I’m grateful to every individual who has signed their name and the many leaders who have spoken up for change but now we need the government to act too.”