Creating Safer Music Spaces
Tools for venue owners/managers to create inclusive rooms for everyone.
Hold Up The Mirror.
How diverse is your patronage? Who are the people coming through your door on a regular basis? Do you notice certain promoters or certain acts bring more diverse audiences with them?
Are there reasons that certain / marginalised communities might not want to be in your venue?
Your venue might feel unwelcoming to folks whether you know it or not. But the good news is, there are some basic measures you can implement to help change that.
Tips for Creating Safer Music Spaces
(courtesy of the amazing team at Good Night Out Vancouver)
Security Tip Sheet
Tips you may want to give to the security team at a venue:
- Pay extra attention to the middle of the crowd, front rail, bathrooms and smoking areas, these are all “hot spots” for non-consensual, creepy behaviours.
- Check in on all interactions that don’t seem quite right, even if you aren’t sure if you are reading them correctly. It’s as easy as saying: “Hey, It’s my job tonight to make sure that everyone here has a good time – are you both doing ok?”
- Use your skill and judgement to identify people who may be more vulnerable in the crowd, seek them out and introduce yourself. Remind them how to get help if anything causes them concern. This strategy can also work for people who may be low-key acting questionable. It lets them know you have their eyes on them, without causing a scene.
If someone comes to Security with a complaint about someone else’s behaviour:
- Listen to them. Often giving someone 5 minutes of your undivided attention is enough for them to be able to reset and go back and enjoy the show. Validate. It’s as easy as saying “I am so sorry that happened to you here. Thank you for telling me.”
- Don’t make any assumptions. Managing reports about consent violations are more about listening, validating and making that patron feel safe – than they are about dissecting every detail.
- Ask: “What is an ideal outcome for you here?” or “What would help you feel safe enough for you to enjoy the rest of the show?” This helps you gauge their expectations. It may not be realistic for you to kick the other patron out for something you didn’t see – but you can say “ I’ll tell you what, I will have another guard keep an extra set of eyes on that person, thank you for letting me know. Please come find me if anything else happens.”
- Remember that you don’t have play judge and jury and believe every detail of every complaint.
- What you should believe is that there is a patron feeling scared enough to seek you out and we want to remedy that as quick as possible.