Safe Spaces Now: UK musicians back plan to end harassment of women at gigs

"Let’s make 2021 the year the music and events industries rise up to the call of the #MeToo movement – and commit to change"

Glastonbury organiser Emily Eavis, Holly Humberstone and Mabel are among the names who have signed a new open letter calling for an end to the harassment of women, girls and marginalised genders at gigs and music festivals.

The initiative has been launched today (August 13) by the UN Women’s Safe Spaces Now project to coincide with the return of live music in the UK this summer.

The open letter says that over 40 per cent of women under the age of 40 have been sexually harassed at a live music event, while within the music sector over 60 per cent of workers have experienced sexual harassment.

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Noting that the vast majority of incidents go unreported (over 95 per cent of women do not report sexual harassment), the letter also reveals that almost half of UK musicians have faced sexual harassment at work, “with workplace culture being cited as the greatest barrier to reporting”.

“We must face our own reality, and this reality is one that our industry has too long ignored: venues, festivals, studios and workplaces are too often not safe spaces for women, girls and marginalised genders,” the letter states.

“It is high time we change that, and we have a collective responsibility to take action. This restart needs to be for all of us. Our spaces must provide safety from harassment, violence, and abuse of power. Music should be a place of joy and inclusion for all.

“Let’s make 2021 the year the music and events industries rise up to the call of the #MeToo movement – and commit to change.”

The likes of Anne-Marie, MNEK, Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Rudimental and Gabrielle have also signed the letter, which you can read in full here.

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Next month’s Strawberries & Creem festival in Cambridge recently became the first UK event to sign up to a pledge which is working to achieve gender equality on festival line-ups.

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