With festival season fast approaching, it’s important to remember ways of staying safe and making sure your gig experience is as enjoyable as possible. Here are 5 tips for staying safe at gigs;
1- Make yourself aware of security and the exits.
On your way in, have a quick glance around the venue; look for security so that in the event of anything where you may need them happening, you know exactly where to go. Also look for the nearest exit incase you feel that you need to get out to make it easier for yourself.
2- Choose a meeting point with your friends.
We all know how easy it is to lose our mates in the mosh pit. Pick a meeting point so that if you lose them, you know where to meet at the end of the gig. There’s nothing worse than trying to phone your friends in a building which usually has poor reception and trying to shout over the music to see where they are. Why not cut out the middle man and pick a place to meet to save the hassle?
3- Don’t accept drinks or drugs from strangers.
It may seem like a given but it can be easy to forget, especially in such a hot environment where all you want is a cold drink. Wait for stewards to bring round cups of water or bring your own drinks if the venue permits it. It’s worth paying the extortionate prices they charge for drinks at most venues over accepting a free but possibly spiked drink from a stranger.
4- Look out for mates.
If you see someone giving unwanted attention to a friend or anybody else at the gig, don’t be afraid to call them out for it. Check that the person looking uncomfortable is okay and warn mates of anybody who appears to be behaving inappropriately. Obviously at a standing venue, it’s almost a given that you’ll be touched by strangers but there’s a huge difference between being intentionally groped and accidentally touched.
5- Tell security or Ask for Angela
While meeting new people is one of the perks of going to gigs, you can’t always tell what their intentions are. If you begin to feel uncomfortable with the situation, let the person know. Be clear that they have overstepped a boundary. If they persist or you still feel unsafe, let security know! There’s absolutely nothing wrong with telling security that you feel uncomfortable and while we are often afraid to make a fuss out of situations, it is security’s job and perfectly fine to ask for their help. The Ask for Angela scheme could also be used in this situation. Asking bar staff for ‘Angela’ alerts them that you feel unsafe and they can then take the steps needed to help you out. Staff can often call a taxi for you and wait with you until it arrives in order to make you feel safe. Speak out about it; don’t suffer in silence. The only way of preventing sexual assault at gigs is by starting a conversation and letting people know that it’s unacceptable.
Obviously having fun should be at the forefront of our minds when going to gigs but it’s worth thinking about safety too. Keep these tips at the back of your mind in order to have an amazing festival season!
Written by Laura Cobham (@lauracobxx on Instagram).