Safe Gigs For Women Partners with HMAs for Second Year

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.”

For more information about Safe Gigs for Women click visit the official website, or find them on Twitter or Facebook.

Interview: A Few Minutes with Safe Gigs for Women

Heavy Music Awards is proud to support Safe Gigs for Women, an initiative set-up by volunteers with the aim of creating a safer environment for women at live music events.

We caught up recently with co-founder of Safe Gigs for Women, Tracey, to chat through everything from the power of Twitter to their admiration for Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes.

HMAs: Whilst your work within the music field is largely recognised, for those that may not know, what is the message that Safe Gigs for Women is sending to the public?

Tracey: That live music is a community, festivals are a community. The force of music that we love should transcend something so base. We need to own our music scenes – venues, festivals, promoters, bands and music fans to proactively take on the issue of sexual harassment and assault in live music.

HMAs: Social media has enabled you to connect to people all over the world and create a community that promotes and shares the ethos of Safe Gigs for Women, but do you feel that the attitudes on social media are always beneficial to the cause?

Tracey: Social media is a massively interesting, but sometimes controversial tool. It has contributed to how we work, in that bands and artists have never been as easily accessible as they are today, so in sharing experiences with bands, and with women being able to share their experiences with us, it’s fantastically useful.  

HMAs: Do you think that the behaviour at festivals and concerts is worse now than they were in the past, or have we just become more aware and outspoken on the matter?

Tracey: I’m don’t think that this behaviour is new, or necessarily worse that it has ever been. What has changed though is that there are more opportunities to go to gigs and festivals than ever before, and a change in audiences too. Once upon a time, gigs and festivals, festivals in particular, were an outsider thing. Now they are an event, a thing to do. Which , so with more people attending festivals than before, we now have more people talking about these issues.

HMAs: In response to the recent incidents at the Swedish music festival Bravalla and its subsequent cancellation in 2018, do you feel those in charge of these large events are taking sexual assault more seriously?

Tracey: I think Bravalla will be a turning point. I hope that we will see many live events thinking what they can do to prevent things getting that way here. Large events should be considering the impact of the fall out from Bravalla, in terms of bad publicity, impact on attendance and think about the possible impact on their events. Take proactive measures now, talk to organisations like us that love music and want to see live music flourish, but in an environment safe for all.

HMAs: How do you think that partnerships with music events such as The Heavy Music Awards will help promote your message to the music industry and fans?

Tracey: It says the industry is beginning to see that action is needed. Woman are potentially 51 per cent of your audience – take us seriously and make our role in music matter.

HMAs: A growing amount of musicians have become involved with the fight for safer environments for women, do you think that being involved with The Heavy Music Awards will help increase this as new audiences are being reached? 

Tracey: Any time we have engagement with bands, we have a huge step up in followers. And this is why it is crucial that we have bands involved in supporting this cause. After the assault that happened to me that led to the creation of Safe Gigs for Women, one of the things that really stuck with me was that the band that I had gone to see would in no way of condoned what happened to me – anyone familiar with that band’s history would know that. If bands don’t want  this behaviour in their moshpit – speak up, be proactive!

HMAs: You are heavily involved in the music scene and have been lifelong music fans, is there anyone that you are hoping will do particularly well at The Heavy Music Awards this year?

Tracey: 2000 Trees, for sure. Such an amazing, fan led festival who we were working with this summer, and it’s fantastic to work with a festival wanting to take a proactive stance against sexual assault. It’s amazing to see a festival where the division between “artiste” and festival goers is almost non existent, where you see bands watching other bands, milling around the campsites, crowd surfing to acoustic sets.

Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes for Best UK Band and Best Live Band makes perfect sense to us. One of our team is still recovering from seeing him at 2000 Trees. And his work on gig safety whilst still having a completely involved crowd, with pits and crowd surfing makes for one hell of a gig. 

And being London based and spending a lot of time in Camden, the inclusion of the Black Heart is great to see. It’s a fantastic venue for promoting music as a community. And this is exactly what we want to see, a greater discussion of music as community, and that we maintain and look after that community.

HMAs: You say that your aims are to reach fans, bands and venues and that change cannot be achieved without all three of these groups involved, how can each of these get in contact with you and help the cause more?

Tracey: They are the three vital components to gigs, one cannot exist without the other. They have to come together to work to stop sexual harassment and assault. You can find us online at www.sgfw.org.uk, and on Facebook and Twitter to find out more about where we are and how to contact us.

Heavy Music Awards 2017 Finalists Announced

The finalists of the Heavy Music Awards 2017 have been announced.

Following an intensive period of voting by more than 300 of the music industry’s leading lights, the final seven for each category at the inaugural Heavy Music Awards have been unveiled.

Spread across ten categories, the finalists represent the heavy music industry’s favourite artists, albums, album covers, photographers, producers, venues and festivals for the calendar year of 2016 – taking in everything from undisputed heavyweights to the very freshest artists on the scene.

HMAs co-founder Dave Bradley said, “We are so excited to see that the industry has produced shortlists that span the vast breadth of the heavy music landscape.

“Beyond the seven finalists in each category, the judges produced a staggeringly comprehensive list of nominees – almost 150 individuals were nominated for Best Photographer, while a similar number were put forward for Best Producer. A huge testament to the strength in depth currently on offer across this amazing scene.

“Rock and metal fans are among the most loyal and well-informed music lovers on the planet, so it comes as no surprise to see such an eclectic mix of the absolute highest quality. Every one of these finalists would be a worthy winner – but it’s up to the public to decide who that should be!”

 


 

The HMA17 Finalists

BEST ALBUM presented by EMP
Architects – All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us (Epitaph / Producers: Fredrik Nordström + Henrik Udd)
Deftones – Gore (Reprise / Producer: Matt Hyde)
Every Time I Die – Low Teens (Epitaph / Producer: Will Putney)
Gojira – Magma (Roadrunner / Producer: Joe Duplantier)
Metallica – Hardwired… To Self-Destruct (Blackened / Producer: Greg Fidelman)
Oathbreaker – Rheia (Deathwish / Producer: Jack Shirley)
Thrice – To Be Everywhere Is To Be Nowhere (Vagrant / Producer: Eric Palmquist)

BEST UK BAND presented by UPRAWR
Architects (Epitaph)
Biffy Clyro (Warner)
Black Peaks (Easy Life)
Black Sabbath (Vertigo)
Bring Me The Horizon (Columbia)
Creeper (Roadrunner)
Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes (International Death Cult)

BEST INTERNATIONAL BAND
A Day To Remember (ADTR)
Beartooth (Red Bull)
Deftones (Reprise)
Every Time I Die (Epitaph)
Ghost (Loma Vista)
Gojira (Roadrunner)
Metallica (Blackened)

BEST LIVE BAND presented by Eagle Rock Entertainment
Architects (Epitaph)
The Dillinger Escape Plan (Party Smasher)
Enter Shikari (Ambush Reality)
Every Time I Die (Epitaph)
Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes (International Death Cult)
Ghost (Loma Vista)
Gojira (Roadrunner)

BEST BREAKTHROUGH BAND presented by House of Vans London
Black Peaks (Easy Life)
Black Foxxes (Universal)
Casey (Hassle)
Dead! (Infectious)
I Prevail (Fearless)
Venom Prison (Prosthetic)
Zeal & Ardor (Radicalis / MVKA)

BEST ALBUM ARTWORK
Architects – All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us (Epitaph)
Black Foxxes – I’m Not Well (Universal)
Deftones – Gore (Reprise)
Ghost – Popestar (Loma Vista)
Gojira – Magma (Roadrunner)
Meshuggah – The Violent Sleep Of Reason (Nuclear Blast)
Opeth – Sorceress (Moderbolaget / Nuclear Blast)

BEST PRODUCER
Tom Dalgety
John Feldmann
Greg Fidelman
Matt Hyde
Dan Lancaster
Fredrik Nordström & Henrik Udd
Will Putney

BEST PHOTOGRAPHER
Tom Barnes
Corrine Cumming
Ben Gibson
Ross Halfin
Paul Harries
Jennifer McCord
John McMurtrie

BEST FESTIVAL
2000 Trees Festival, Cheltenham
ArcTanGent, Compton Martin
Bloodstock Open Air, Derby
Desertfest, London
Download Festival, Donington
Reading & Leeds Festival
Slam Dunk Festival, Birmingham / Hatfield / Leeds

BEST VENUE
Black Heart, Camden
The Dome, Tufnell Park
KOKO, Camden
O2 Academy, Brixton
O2 Forum, Kentish Town
Rock City, Nottingham
The Underworld, Camden

 


 

The Heavy Music Awards 2017 will take place on 24 August at House of Vans London.

CLICK HERE TO VOTE NOW

Voting closes 5pm, 30 June 2017.

HMAs Team Up With ‘Safe Gigs For Women’

The Heavy Music Awards has teamed with a movement which campaigns to make gigs a safer place for women.

Launched in 2015, Safe Gigs for Women is run entirely by volunteers with a mission to stamp out the risk of sexual harassment at music events across the UK.

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.

Tracey Wise, a founder of the cause, revealed why it is necessary to seek a change of environment for women as gigs and festivals.

“Safe Gigs for Women was founded after I was sexually assaulted, and not for the first time, at a live event in 2015.

“As someone for whom music is everything, it is unbelievable that women attending music are facing this.

“We look to work with gig goers, venues, festivals and bands and artists to take a proactive stance to get sexual harassment and assault out of our music scenes.

“We are hugely excited to work with the Heavy Music Awards to take this message further.”

Andy Pritchard, from the Heavy Music Awards, described the initiative as “vitally progressive”.

He added: “The Heavy Music Awards is very proud to play a part in supporting Safe Gigs for Women to help create a safer and more enjoyable experience for women at shows.

“Everyone involved with the HMAs is a music fan first and foremost. While the majority of artists may be men, the heavy music scene is renowned for being welcoming regardless of your gender.

“We’d like to underline our commitment to that by partnering with an initiative that is doing great things for the safety of females in what should always be a fun and secure environment.”

For more information about Safe Gigs for Women click here
Twitter.com/safegigs4women
Facebook.com/safegigsforwomen

Privacy Settings
We use cookies to enhance your experience while using our website. If you are using our Services via a browser you can restrict, block or remove cookies through your web browser settings. We also use content and scripts from third parties that may use tracking technologies. You can selectively provide your consent below to allow such third party embeds. For complete information about the cookies we use, data we collect and how we process them, please check our Privacy Policy
Youtube
Consent to display content from Youtube
Vimeo
Consent to display content from Vimeo
Google Maps
Consent to display content from Google