Dwell Music Change Weblog
Our newest publish is by Rosemary Lucy Hill, Senior Lecturer in Media and Widespread Tradition, College of Huddersfield. Right here she outlines analysis into sexual violence and harassment at gigs, and introduces the information that emerged from it about write a ‘safer areas’ coverage.
TL;DR: safer areas insurance policies are actually helpful; right here’s our Information on write one.
Proper now music venues are preventing for his or her lives. Slivers of hope in placing on gigs once more are tied in with fascinated about how to take action safely.
While we think about viewers security from covid, different types of security should be remembered. Violence and sexual harassment have been a pernicious a part of the gig expertise, particularly for ladies, for a few years. Going to a gig is usually a distinctly unsafe expertise, resulting in long-term trauma, lack of group and lack of a musical life. For musicians it may well imply a reconsideration of profession selections.
This second, then, presents a chance to replicate on how we would enhance security when it comes to decreasing sexual violence and harassment, and selling equality in gig going.
My workforce and I’ve been researching the impacts of sexual violence at gigs, and what we are able to do to mitigate them. We found that some venues are superb at coping with violence, however others felt at sea when an incident occurred. They didn’t know reply for the very best.
Safer areas insurance policies will be useful for workers in coping with sexual harassment and violence, particularly if workers have additionally obtained good coaching. Insurance policies can present consistency so everybody within the venue is on the identical web page. They’re good for audiences and musicians too, as they supply extra details about behave or get assist if one thing goes flawed.
However for all that, we discovered loads of selection amongst current insurance policies: some lengthy, some quick, some complicated, some as distilled as ‘Don’t be a dick’ (as if everybody is aware of what ‘being a dick’ is). This implies it’s fairly patchy when it comes to how helpful insurance policies are, or how straightforward they’re to learn and perceive.
We additionally discovered that individuals who run venues are actually pushed for time. They may not really feel assured about writing a safer areas coverage. One of many venue managers we spoke to mentioned,
“I’m not the professional on rights and insurance policies, it’s not my factor. I’m actually good at working issues easily and effectively, however writing isn’t [one of my strengths].”
We wished to assist resolve this drawback with a simple information to writing a coverage and a template to go together with it. So we created the 5 Step Information to Writing a Safer Areas Coverage for Your Venue. We drew on our analysis and consulted with venue managers, promoters and anti-violence charities to ensure that the information is sensible and a optimistic expertise for customers.
Our Information units out 5 steps to guide venue managers and their groups by way of a dialogue of what to place of their coverage and write it. That is concerning the beliefs of the workers and what sort of venue they’re working or wish to create. It asks about sensible measures already in place and what extra could possibly be carried out (and what assist can be wanted to attain it).
Our analysis discovered that loads of safer areas insurance policies use fairly adverse language: they’re about what folks shouldn’t be doing in a venue, not what they need to be doing (having enjoyable!). We suggest that insurance policies are framed in optimistic language. This encourages folks to share within the values of the venue and to take constructive motion.
Our pattern coverage is explicitly framed on this optimistic language and units out clearly what viewers members can do to get pleasure from themselves safely and with out impinging on others’ enjoyable. For instance,
“Say ‘excuse me’ when shifting by way of the group, fairly than pushing or touching folks. A few faucets on the shoulder could also be okay in the event that they haven’t heard you”
Additionally it is clear about what the venue gives and the way workers will reply if an incident of violence does happen. Sadly, incidents do occur even in venues with insurance policies – however understanding how finest to take care of it may well cut back the trauma for these on the receiving finish.
The Information contains hyperlinks to additional assets, corresponding to anti-violence coaching organisation Good Night time Out Marketing campaign, and free entry to journal articles about our analysis.
We hope that the 5 Step Information to Writing a Safer Areas Coverage will show a invaluable instrument for venues and promoters as they foster security at gigs. It’s our philosophy that the gig expertise needs to be enjoyable for everybody. Clear steerage for audiences and assist from venues can promote that. We consider this as a ‘framework for enjoyable’ by which everybody’s freedom to have enjoyable is being supported, so long as it doesn’t impede another person’s enjoyment.
Hill, R. L., Hesmondhalgh, D., & Megson, M. (2020). Sexual violence at dwell music occasions: experiences, responses and prevention. Worldwide Journal of Cultural Research, 23(3), 368–384.
Hill, R. L., & Megson, M. (2020). In defence of safer areas: punk, privilege and safer areas insurance policies. Punk & Put up-Punk, 9(1), 59–76.
Rosemary Lucy Hill, Senior Lecturer in Media and Widespread Tradition, College of Huddersfield, UK; Twitter@rosemarylhill