Counter Culture / May 20, 2022

Irish festivals join campaign to tackle sexual violence

Counter Culture / May 20, 2022

Irish festivals join campaign to tackle sexual violence

Words: Eva O’Beirne

More than 100 festivals across the UK and Ireland, including Electric Picnic, have signed up to the campaign.

The Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) first launched its charter of best practice in 2017 to tackle sexual violence, harassment and assault at festivals.

All festivals organised by MCD are signed up to the charter, including Electric Picnic and Longitude. Body & Soul has also signed up to the charter.

The AIF said by signing up to the campaign festival organisers are “reiterating their commitment to delivering a safe environment for audiences, performers, and workforce, and to taking a survivor-led approach underpinned by policies, procedures, and training”.

Participating festivals are also committing to assessing their training needs and provide training for staff and volunteers on both how to proactively monitor for and deal with incidents of sexual assault and harassment.

The charter states that all instances of sexual harassment, assault and violence will be taken seriously, acted upon quickly and investigated. The campaign will also feature advice for festival-goers on how to be an ‘active bystander’.

The AIF said participating festivals will actively promote the principle of consent regarding sexual activity onsite at events, defining consent as “someone engaging in sexual activity if they agree by choice, and they have the freedom and capacity to make that choice” and emphasising that consent can be revoked at any time.

A full list of the festivals signed up to Safer Spaces can be found here.

Elsewhere on District: Ireland ranks 16th for LGBTQ+ rights in Europe