Four Years of SGFW: A Thank You!
- August 12, 2019
- Posted by: Safe Gigs Team
- Category: Uncategorized
In the four years since our creation, Safe Gigs for Women has grown beyond anything I could have imagined since that first angry blog, written in a tired, post trauma, stressed haze in a café in a city I (then) didn’t know.
Our work has grown to involve names from the British music scene including Frank Turner, Enter Shikari, Frank Carter, Billy Bragg and Idles. We’ve represented at some of the country’s biggest festivals, including Left Field at Glastonbury and last year’s partnership with Festival Republic, and have partnered with the Heavy Music Awards every year since its creation. Enough to make this anxious headed founder stand back at every single achievement and go “Oh My God!” and then have a little cry.
But, we wouldn’t have done any of this without the amazing team of volunteers that we have built up so far. What does volunteering with us entail? Well, let me tell you! We currently have a core team of four based in London, who do all the running admin – answering work requests, directing volunteers to events, press and academic questions, writing our working policies and training, delivering training, finances, fundraising and social media. We have one person who is responsible for most of our design work. And then we have a team of volunteers (not quite) across the country.
These volunteers represent for us at gigs and events in their local area, and for those who are happy to travel, this may be across the country. At events they will be talking with gig and festival goers about what they can do to prevent sexual assault in live music. They may act as a sounding board for the occasional person who wishes to rant about something that may have happened to them in the past, or maybe to a friend of theirs. They talk to venue staff and security about what we do and why. And a lead volunteer at events will liaise with event staff, whether that be a tour manager, band member or festival co-ordinators, about what they need from us at that event. Volunteers are provided with a list of external support service numbers, should anyone feel they need support after the event.
And why do people volunteer with us? Well, you know my reasons, but when I questioned some of our amazing volunteers, this a what they had to say:
“As a music fan and feminist, it’s been an absolute pleasure to get involved … and support their work. I’ve met some lovely people and made some great friends doing this work. It’s the conversations I have with gig goers – particularly young women – that continues to motivate me to be a part of this” – Sian, London.
“It can be challenging but it’s always very rewarding. There are all sorts of things to help with, I do a bit of admin, blogging and repping” – Sarah, South West region.
It sounds like a cliché to say that “we can’t do this without you”. But it’s true, without our volunteers, we really wouldn’t have made it this far. Try as we might, the key running team can’t always necessarily make it to Bristol, mid-week. But to keep growing like we have, we need even more help – we need to add to our bank of volunteers. And not just for events. Believe in Safe Gigs for Women but feel your services are better offered by way of, say, writing content for us? Go for it! Know that you’re a kick ass with a laptop and writing press releases? Please do get in touch! We’re an intersectional organisation and welcome applications from all. Yes, even men/male identifying people! We’re also just in the process of updating our training for volunteers and will soon be offering online training so we can expand our bank of volunteers into parts of the country we have not yet made it to.
Festival season 2019 may nearly be over. But we’ve already started thinking about festival season 2020. Join us and think about how you might help us make next year’s festival season even bigger, better, and most importantly, safer for women.