Industry News

AIF expands its Safer Spaces programme with new charity partnerships

The Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) has bolstered its Safer Spaces Charter through new partnerships with UK charities targeting LGBT+ abuse and spiking.

AIF’s Safer Spaces campaign, which was originally launched in May 2017, sees festivals commit to a charter of best practice developed with input and guidance from a range of expert charities including Rape Crisis England And Wales, Good Night Out, Safe Gigs For Women, Girls Against and UN Women.

New partner Galop works with LGBT+ people who have experienced abuse and violence, specialising in supporting victims and survivors of domestic abuse, sexual violence, hate crime, honour-based abuse, forced marriage, and other forms of interpersonal abuse.

Stamp Out Spiking, the other new partner, was established to tackle increasing incidents of spiking across the UK and worldwide. Founded by a team with professional experience in alcohol and drug awareness workshops, concentrating on welfare of young people, the charity exists to highlight the dangers of spiking, and offer effective and practical solutions to keep people safe in pubs, clubs, house parties, festivals and beyond.

Phoebe Rodwell-Carson, AIF’s membership and operations coordinator, said: “I am so glad we have partnered with both Galop and Stamp Out Spiking for our Safer Spaces campaign. It’s important for AIF to work towards creating safer and more inclusive spaces for everyone, and work with those who provide specialised support.

“It’s great to have so many festivals signed up to the campaign. We hope to build on this with as many festival organisers as possible, supporting them in upholding their duty of care towards music fans and festival staff, whilst ensuring we remain inclusive and open to all.”

The partnerships have contributed to new Safer Spaces resources that directly addresses the needs of LGBT+ survivors of abuse, and the broader issue of spiking. Both charities will supply practical training and resources to promote best practice among staff at AIF member festivals.

The Safer Spaces Charter states that all allegations of sexual harassment, assault and violence will be taken seriously, acted upon promptly and investigated at AIF member festivals. This is supplemented by a commitment to clear, robust reporting and disclosure procedures, including how to report incidents onsite and post event.

Amy Roch, deputy chief executive of Galop, said: “By including LGBT+ survivors in the AIF Charter, AIF is sending a powerful message that everyone deserves to feel safe and respected, and that LGBT+ specialised support is available to those who need it.”

Dawn Dines, chief executive and founder of Stamp Out Spiking, said: “Working together will make such a difference in safeguarding men and women at festivals across the UK.”