SAFER SPACES FOR WOMEN AT FESTIVALS
This includes all women, while also being supportive of non-binary people and people of any gender who are made to feel unsafe, harassed, or uncomfortable.
Rebellion Festivals has a zero-tolerance policy towards incidents of assault at our festival. Our policy below outlines how someone who has suffered abuse should report it and why it's important for us to be aware of any incidents so we can make meaningful changes, however the best approach would be to stamp out any incidents in the first place. We are all collectively responsible for calling out unacceptable behaviour. The T&Cs of your ticket (4.9) state that if you behave in a threatening, abusive or insulting manner we can remove you / refuse entry. We will not hesitate in removing the wristband of anyone who has breached these terms.
Whilst we pride ourselves on our family atmosphere and generally feel that Rebellion and our punk community is one of the safest and most respectful live music gatherings, we will not be complacent around the subject of Safe Gigs For Women and are making a number of improvements to our messaging, reporting and dealing with any issues.
We are female led (Jennie Russell-Smith being a founder and director of Rebellion Festivals Ltd), we have female crew and our children work and attend the festival.
Various charities promoting safety and respect such as "Safe Gigs For Women" and "Sophie Lancaster Foundation" are given a presence at the event to ensure that the message is clear.
However, we're aware that in any large gathering there is an opportunity for incidents, so we are outlining our policy here on what to do if you or someone you know is a victim of assault.
We have appointed a named person who can be contacted with any concerns. Laura Catlow-Morris (Catlow) is our Diversity & Inclusion Officer and can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org
AT THE EVENT
SECURITY - security are available in every area of the venue. There is rarely ANYWHERE in the building where you can be in which you won't have sight of a security person. Even if you feel that the person has 'got away' in the crowd and can't be identified, please report it. Our security log every incident. It will help us build a picture of where and when incidents are happening. We can then respond accordingly. We can't react or make changes without your support and without knowledge.
BOX OFFICE - Our box office is open from doors until a couple of hours before closing. As soon as you approach a member of our team, they will ensure that the appropriate people are contacted to support you.
INFORMATION STAND - we have an information stand. Again, our staff will be trained to ensure that you are safe until the appropriate people are contacted to support you.
There is also a FIRST AID centre in the building which is obviously staffed by First Aiders and paramedics that are not employed by Rebellion.
Of course the Winter Gardens themselves are contactable.
All of these areas are indicated in the FREE programme that everyone gets upon entry.
There are multiple points and opportunities to report any incidents on the weekend. We have more security than is legally required for the event too, so finding someone should not be a problem.
If we end the festival with no reports of any issues, it makes it hard to react and make positive changes. We urge anyone that experiences anything to PLEASE REPORT it. It will make a difference and we can respond.
AFTER THE EVENT
We understand that people can feel overwhelmed at the time, or their situation / circumstance may mean that they weren't comfortable or able to report it on the weekend. Or that on reflection, at home they feel that they should have spoken up. In that case, PLEASE CONTACT US as soon as you feel able to. Contact REBELLION FESTIVALS directly at email@example.com
We're also happy to engage with you in order to make Rebellion safer, so if you feel there's something we should be doing that we're not then please get in touch. It's YOUR festival and we want to make it as safe as possible.
We pledge to make Rebellion as safe as possible. Whilst encouraging you to report anything, we also recognise that the best way to avoid this is EDUCATION and for all of us to police this by making it clear what is and isn't acceptable.
We will use our website, social media presence, the festival printed programme and our presence of key stalls at the event to spread this message.
DON'T BE A BYSTANDER!
For partners, relatives and friends of someone who has been sexually assaulted, The Havens website offers the following advice on what you can do to help:
• Listen to the person, but don't ask for details of the assault.
Allow them to be in control: ask how you can help - you might have ideas about what they should or shouldn't be doing, but it's important to allow them to come to their own decisions without feeling pressurised.
You could help them find useful information, but don't insist on them doing anything or speaking to anyone they don't want to.
• Respect their decisions, for example whether or not they want to report the assault to the police.
• Don't take over: respect their decisions and never plan their recovery for them. Only they know how they feel, so it's important they're allowed to recover at their own pace. Trust is important, so never break your promise of confidentiality.
• Offer practical support, such as going with them to appointments.
• A person who's been assaulted may find physical contact difficult and may not want to be touched, so you should respect their wishes. Even a hug might upset them, so ask first. If you're in a sexual relationship with them, be aware that sex might be frightening and don't put pressure on them to have sex.
• Listen and be patient: as well as listening, you need to remain patient. Try not to ask them about details of the assault, because they might not feel ready to talk about it. If they don't feel ready to talk about their experience, you may suggest that they write it down to help them "let it out" and begin to make sense of what has happened to them.
• Give them space: knowing when to give someone space is essential. An important part of their healing process will be to take back a sense of control over their life, so allow them to do this.
• Be supportive: they may need your support for a long time.
Sexual assault at festivals:
Rebellion Festivals Ltd is a member of the Association of Independent Festivals and follows the AIF charter of best practice below.
We believe that all festival and event organisers should strive to create a safe and enjoyable environment for audiences and take active measures regarding incidents of sexual assault onsite.
We commit to uphold best practice through the following steps:
Zero tolerance to sexual assault: To make it clear to all attendees, staff & artists that the festival has a zero tolerance policy towards sexual assault - this is defined for the purposes of this charter as "Any unwanted sexual act or activity". According to Rape Crisis England & Wales, there are many different kinds of sexual violence, including but not limited to: rape, sexual assault, child sexual abuse, sexual harassment, rape within marriage/relationships, forced marriage, so-called honour-based violence, female genital mutilation, trafficking, sexual exploitation, and ritual abuse.
Suspects of such offences will be pursued and may be ejected from the festival - Organisers will work with the police to support an investigation and charging decision.
Consent: To promote at all times the principle of consent with regard to sexual activity onsite.
A victim led approach: To always respond to reports of harassment and sexual violence from a place of belief and to take a victim led approach, with support services available onsite.
Training: To train all staff and volunteers in issues concerning sexual violence and have the following elements in place, with training delivered or overseen by specialist providers:
A) Prevention - raising awareness and training including awareness of relevant facilities available on site.
B) Reporting procedure and actions - To produce clear guidelines for scenarios, built into Safety Advisory Groups (SAGs) and event safety management plans, table top exercises, welfare policies and staff training.
C) Support - To work with the wider agencies such as Police, ambulance, welfare and security contractors and other relevant agencies to support victims and staff.
Awareness: To encourage attendees, staff, performers and volunteers to be aware and to not be a bystander to sexual violence or intimidation. To promote this through onsite messaging and pre- event information.