With the UK’s festival season kicking off in a matter of weeks, concerns are turning to how to keep women safe at the crowded, alcohol-fuelled events, where research has shown one in three women who attend a music festival has been sexually assaulted or harassed.
But one European festival is leading the way in making sure their event is welcoming to women, LGBTQ+ people and other marginalised groups, and they’ve shared their wisdom with the UK parliament.
Marta Pallarès Olivares, head of international press and PR at the Barcelona-based festival, recommended that the British music festival industry make sure it has diverse staff members in terms of race, gender and sexuality, in order to make all audience members feel safe at their events.
“If you have a lot of women in your company, people from diverse backgrounds, it’s probable that [they] have felt unsafe, have felt scared going home afterwards or got lost between stages, so then when [they] are able to work on the other side of the business, [they think about that] and create the kind of festival they want to attend,” she told parliament’s women and equalities committee.
The committee is currently examining misogyny in the UK music industry to figure out what steps can be taken to protect audience members and festival goers from harassment and improve the treatment of women working at events.
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