Festival season has officially started…

By Jade Sullivan,

Festival season has officially started, and girls just want to have fun. Instead, women and girls have become experts at risk mitigation. What should be opportunities to relax and have fun, festivals and live music events can be tainted by the threat of the fear of harassment and violence.

What exactly does this mean? The threat of the fear of violence refers to the way women navigate everyday events rather than simply experiencing them. Unfortunately, for many women who’ve attended a festival in the UK, this fear is more than just a threat to navigate: four in ten women (43%) under 40 have experienced unwanted sexual behaviour.

While the sisters are doing it for themselves these days, men and boys need to be part of stopping violence before it starts.

Violence against women is not a women’s issue – most violence committed against women is gender-based and perpetrated by men. In the year ending March 2021, the Office for National Statistics found that 92% (109) of suspects were male in the investigations of women murdered (177) .

White Ribbon UK, focuses on behaviour change to transform harmful cultures where sexism and misogyny are normalised. One example of such cultures is ‘lad culture’ — a group mentality often found at festivals and can involve the objectification of women and rape-supportive attitudes.

In the first UK study on sexual violence at UK music festivals, researchers found that ‘for some participants, misogyny and sexual harassment were considered inherent’ to festivals and the music industry, which is ‘run by men, for men, and thus endorses and promotes lad culture.’

As you check off all you need to take to your next event this summer, don’t forget the Festival Five – five ways men can be allies and ensure women and girls are safe and can enjoy festival season without the fear the violence.

Read more here