What can I do to help?

Help us have the discussion heard! We are currently working on having badges, posters and other forms of merchandise made so that everyone can show their support and intolerance of sexual harassment visually. We are trying to grab the attention of as many bands as possible, so feel free to contact anyone whose music you hold dearly. We don’t want to worry about seeing our favourite bands live anymore – we hope that gigs can be anxiety-free in the near future,

What should I do if I experience sexual harassment at a gig?

If you can inform security then please do, as they may then be able to deal with the perpetrator and contact the authorities. However, we realise that security can be guilty of just shrugging and expecting you to persevere (and this is something which we are trying our very best to change). Inform your friends or whoever you trust as they may be able to protect you, and if it will keep you safe we suggest you leave the crowd or move away from the person harassing you. We are working with bands, venues and security companies to arrange a solid safety plan should you experience this. We will keep you informed on any developments.

How do you plan on making a difference?

We are trying to establish a discussion between fans, bands, promoters, venues, security companies and any other relevant parties, so that everyone is aware that this is happening at gigs. We hope that if we all speak about the issue loudly and clearly, perpetrators realise that they are not welcome at gigs and we will not tolerate their behaviour. We hope that the issue can be taken more seriously, so that perpetrators are punished for their behaviour, while victims receive any support they need. Sexual harassment happens because of complex attitudes which are installed in our culture. This will be difficult to conquer and at the end of the day we are just five teenage girls, we can’t wave a wand and have it magically stop. We encourage suggestions on ways to solve the problem!

Why “Girls Against”? Do you only support women?

No, of course not! We are here for all victims of sexual harassment, regardless of gender. We realise that men can be victims, trans people can be victims, and anyone else of any gender identity/expression. We are here to support everyone who may need us! We also acknowledge that people of any gender will want to join the fight against sexual harassment and we are thankful for all of our supporters. We merely chose Girls Against because it’s catchy, there is alliteration in Girls

Why did you create the campaign?

We created the campaign after Hannah’s experience of sexual harassment at a Peace gig in Glasgow, September 2015. Members of Peace shared the story and begged that fans do not attend their gigs if they will engage in that sort of behaviour. Many others then began to share their experiences, forcing us to acknowledge how widespread the problem is – hence leaving us compelled to do something about it. Hannah found that confiding in a stranger gave her the courage to speak more openly about her experience so we created Girls Against to give other victims a safe space to speak out and aid their recovery.

Who are Girls Against?

Formed in 2015 by Hannah, Anna, Bea, Anni and Ava, it is now made up of three of the original founders, Hannah, Anna and Bea, as well as over 70 international representatives.

A History of Women in Rock Music – A Response To The Exclusion of Those Who Helped Shape the Genre

To please customers or to fight against everyday sexism? It’s shocking that we even consider this question. However, unfortunately, recent events have reinforced that inequality within the music industry is an ongoing issue.

I’m sure you’ve heard about the Middlesbrough pub – Doctor Browns – who recently introduced a policy that does not allow female-fronted bands to perform in their premises. This was after customers complained that some rock songs, which are supposedly “male”, should not be performed by female singers. Manager Paula Rees even stated in defence, “we’re a rock bar and they don’t think women should sing male rock songs”. It is worth asking – who are ‘they’ and why are ‘they’ saying this?

‘They’ are customers with an opinion, of course. However, I cannot fathom the idea of excluding women from the rock genre. Just thinking about the numerous iconic women who have fronted and influenced the rock scene throughout history creates a plethora of names that jump into thought:

Janis Joplin. “One of the first female artists to break the “girl singer” mould… her fusion of rock and blues influenced both male and female artists”. With four studio albums, two live albums, a set at Woodstock in 1969 and influencing Nancy Wilson, Joan Jett and Chrissie Hynde to name a few – this woman was powerful, strong and could definitely front a female rock band.

Stevie Nicks, an absolute inspiration. She joined Fleetwood Mac in 1975 and her singer-songwriter talent flourished. Her solo career in 1981 commenced whilst still working with Fleetwood Mac; not to mention a hefty 16 studio albums and three live albums under her belt. Even most recently, she joined Harry Styles on his tour for a “Landslide” duet. Like the music style or not, there is no denying that Nicks is an icon.

There shouldn’t have to be explanations for the likes of Janis Joplin, Joan Jett, Pat Benater, Blondie, Patti Smith… the list goes on. There are also tons and tons of female-fronted rock bands, both upcoming and current who are paving the way in the rock industry. We have another blog post coming up which highlights important women in the current rock scene so be sure to check it out.

I just wanted to highlight the fact that the history of rock has influenced and created wonderful, inspirational women who have provided and continue to provide the music industry with talent, content and entertainment. There is no excuse for isolating female musicians from any venue. It is shocking, unequal and something must be done.

The negative response that came with this initial policy, however, does give hope. People realise that this is sexist and unjust. Let’s do something about it.

Written by Megan Ryder-Maki (@ixxmcmxl on Twitter).

Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes, The Ritz Manchester, 03.12.17

A roar of excitement fills The Ritz on the 3rd December awaiting the entrance of Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes, a punk band formed in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire in London.

After the band pulling out of the support slot for Papa Roach’s European tour due to Frank needing to take time to focus on his mental health, there had been speculation surrounding their winter tour. However, having sold out their first date of the tour in Bristol, the fans knew that Frank was back on track.

Opening with the powerful tune “Primary Explosive” from the first album, Frank dominates the venue as the crowd sing along.

“Ladies, this song is for you” Frank dedicates the song “Wild Flowers” to all of the females in the audience and reassures the women who have always wanted to crowd surf but have felt too vulnerable to do so due to groping at gigs that this is their time to do it in a safe environment. Carter reinforces the rule to the males in the crowd by threatening to “tear their f*****g heads off with his bare hands if they do not treat the female crowd surfers with the love and kindness and respect they deserve”.

Artists creating this kind of safe environment at gigs is so important. It not only totally discourages perpetrators from committing any type of sexual assault but it also reassures victims that they are in a safe space.

The song is stopped half way through as a female member of the audience collapses and requires urgent medical attention. The band, the venue staff and the fans work together to make sure that she is safely removed from the incident.

Once the band were given the thumbs up that she was safe, they got back to the set and performed the robust song “Acid Veins” which was the first time that it had ever been performed live, a real treat for the audience.

Carter explores the venue by performing the title track of the new album “Modern Ruin” on the balcony to make sure that everyone feels a connection, not just those that bought standing tickets.

Frank and the gang may well have had some obstacles this year, which they have gone above and beyond to tackle to prove everyone they are back and better than ever. No doubt the rattlesnakes will bite back in 2018 too.

If you have not yet heard of Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes, check out their social media accounts and Spotify!

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Written by Gee Stanley (@geeslostcontrol on Instagram).