Safe Gigs For Women has partnered with the Heavy Music Awards for a second year.
The campaign group – started in 2015 – is led entirely by volunteers to make gigs and festivals a safer environment for women by stamping out the risk of sexual harassment.
Sam Carter, lead singer of Architects, hit the headlines last year after calling out a male fan for allegedly committing such an offence at Lowlands Festival in The Netherlands.
Architects have since began working with Safe Gigs for Women after first meeting at House of Vans London during Heavy Music Awards 2017.
In 2018, Safe Gigs for Women has taken the position of “Official Supporter” at the HMAs.
The initiative has three key aims:
To work with gig goers in spreading the word that it is not okay to grope, threaten or harass others and to encourage victims to speak out and supporters to advocate that this behaviour will not be tolerated.
To team up with venues to ensure they take reports of sexual harassment and other threats to women seriously and create a “safe venue” standard.
To connect with bands and artists to promote the recognition of standards, talk about SGfW work and to share with their audiences the importance of recognising and sharing acceptable behaviour codes.
Mel Kelly, a member of the leadership team of SGFW, spoke about why a change in attitude is necessary to make gigs and festivals safer for women.
“Safe Gigs for Women was founded after our founder was sexually assaulted, and not for the first time, at a live event in 2015.
“Live music is so important to me and to so many women I know. Gigs and festivals are a huge part of my life.
“We are thrilled that the HMAs have chosen to support us so visibly again this year. We remain excited about working with them, with venues, musicians and the gig-going public to make sexual safety a priority in live music.
“Thank you so much to the management of the Heavy Music Awards for helping us spread the word.”
Iain Johnson, from the Heavy Music Awards, described the initiative as “important for the future of live music”.
He added: “The Heavy Music Awards is very proud to support Safe Gigs for Women once again.
“It is vital that we all work together to stamp out the risks of sexual assault at gigs and festivals and Safe Gigs for Women offer a very effective spearhead for that.
“Such behaviour should never be tolerated, we must stand together and stamp it out.”