Brave Exhibitions Festival 2021: What are we doing to be proactive about safe spaces in our music community?
Brave Exhibitions wants to extend their welcome to this year’s festival. In such a turbulent time for our local music community, the event recognises the importance of coming together and being proactive about change. There is an understandable doubt that music organisations are claiming to take the right steps forward but have nothing to show for it. We want to be fully transparent in the precautions we are taking and provide you with regular updates; peace of mind doesn’t take a lot! This is a tricky time for the music industry and reassurance of our progress is the least we can do. As a festival, we are looking inwards to see if there are any changes or improvements we can make first, in a bid to make the space safe to the best of our ability. To ensure we do this properly, we have requested the help of Tits Upon Tyne to assist us in this development. With their guidance and research, we have budgeted time and space to make this a priority. We would love if you could take the time to read through the first steps we have taken in implementing comprehensive and safe measures:
- A Safe Space Policy is to be put together and distributed to everyone involved with the festival. This has the intent to be made public and compiled using research conducted by Tits Upon Tyne and their sister organisations. This will include looking at the C.A.S.I campaign; Communication, Accessibility, Safety and Inclusivity, followed by primary research and secondary input.
- We recognise that a blanket policy cannot be truly efficient – especially without talking to minority communities directly and co-writing policies with cultural representatives. We are exploring this avenue actively alongside safe space research; specifically the potential for non-binary and ethnic minority group policy authors.
- We are actively in liaison with Girls Against and likeminded organisations to help direct and educate us on what we can do in a bid to be better. We are looking to include them in the planning of and the event itself. A direct and hands-on approach has been taken, with the intention of regular communication resulting in a stronger presence on the day.
- A budget has been put aside to dedicate solely to safe space campaigns; examples are anti spiking freebies and venue staff training. We are currently working out the most effective and efficient way to utilise this budget! Updates will be available upon request.
- With a focus on internal changes, Tits Upon Tyne has compiled a venue report on the Cluny, this year’s festival location. Using C.A.S.I, this can help put positive changes into effect before the November date. This is something that will be transparent and on-going, with the Cluny expressing their total support.
- We have donated the Fringe festival to the partners, who are using the event as a way to have a wider reach and impact. These will incorporate local grass root venues, with an emphasis on community and culture. This event will be Generator NE and Tits Upon Tyne ran, shining a light on our women in music. All policies will also be in place here.
More safe space precautions updates will be available as Tits Upon Tyne’s cultural and creative industry research and implementation progresses! If you have any feedback or questions, please email email@example.com and don’t hesitate to ask! An open conversation about constant improvements is welcomed, especially from staff and artists involved with Brave Exhibitions. The resources put together by Tits Upon Tyne are available for use by everyone, please feel free to utilise them how you see fit; Safe space sister organisations.
Who have we reached out to regarding help and assistance throughout the festival?
Mission Statement from Tits Upon Tyne:
Our aim is to take a proactive approach in response to recent industry happenings. We understand that assuring complete safety is unrealistic and unattainable, however we recognise that there are more preventative measures that can be taken. As part of our non-profit work within the Northeast music community, we are assisting grass root venues in a bid to further prioritise staff, customer and artist safety. Throughout this research, there will be a focus on minority groups and creating a safe space for music lovers. This does not touch on all ideas but provides a rough outline for the next steps in being proactive – the goal is to have these standards met on a wide scale, thus must be cost-effective and accessible to all venues and promoters alike. Thank you for taking the time to read this email! I will be in touch soon regarding policies and code of conduct – any feedback is welcomed.
A celebration of grassroots and the culture that fuelled it, Brave Exhibitions 2021 will develop through strengthened relationships with partners, artists, promoters and audiences. Time away from live music has allowed increased confidence in the production of a high-quality inclusive festival that challenges expectation – but adamant to maintain the inclusive ‘DIY’ ethos that audiences for alternative music are attracted to.
What’s news with BEF?
Already representative and diverse orientated, this year shows BEF making an effort to further ensure a safe space for all attending the festivities. This year, the event plans have been shaped in response to recent industry issues that highlight some harrowing facts. Working with Tits Upon Tyne and like-minded organisations, no stone is left unturned when addressing harassment at gigs and igniting a conversation on the often dismissed topic. Tits Upon Tyne has taken the reins on this part of the festival, hoping to trial their low cost safe space campaigns that could have a lasting impact on the music community – Brave Exhibitions offering to be their event guinea pig!
Unfortunately, line-ups remain male dominated and the live music sector is vulnerable; risk-averse behaviours of artists and audiences have grown. Festival partners are coming together in strength to make sure a proactive approach is adopted within the PR and event strategy to capture the vibe desired for the day.
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