Dozens of U.K. music festivals have banded together for a 24-hour online campaign condemning sexual assaults at their respective fests.
On Monday, visitors to the websites for Bestival, Parklife, End of the Road and 25 more fests were greeted to a video for “Safer Spaces at Festivals,” which reiterate a “zero tolerance to sexual assault” policy.
The Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) and four U.K. organizations fighting “sexual violence” teamed to launch the Safer Spaces at Festivals campaign.
“This campaign is building upon the positive measures that are already being taken by our members. We are reiterating that we have a zero tolerance towards any form of sexual harassment or assault at our events,” said AIF campaign manger Renae Brown said in a statement.
“We are aiming to tackle these issues in both a sensitive and impactful way – pushing awareness of sexual safety to the fore, while ensuring all those working onsite are properly trained, and that UK festivals continue to provide the safest, securest and most enjoyable environment for their customers,” Brown added.
The AIF site added, “Sexual assault can happen anywhere and to anyone. There is no evidence to suggest that more of these incidents take place at festivals but organizers take this issue incredibly seriously in their planning and practices – these include the provision of welfare services, 24-hour security on campsites and arenas and close working relationships with police and other relevant agencies.”
According to the Guardian, three women reported sexual assaults at 2015’s Glastonbury event, the U.K.’s largest music festival. However, statistics show that “only 15 percent of those who experience such violence choose to report it to the police,” the AIF wrote.
Bestival founder Rob da Bank told the Guardian, “It’s really important that as promoters of these big events where people come to have fun, we all tackle this head on and make sure our crowds are really safe. It’s not in vast numbers, but it is going on, so we are trying to flag this up before it becomes a problem, rather than being told after the event that we haven’t done enough.”