In partnership with L’Oréal
Festivals are all about having fun while enjoying your favourite acts. Whether you’re going to a day event or setting up camp for the weekend, it’s always important to look out for yourself and those around you so everyone can have fun.
So that festivals can be a safer and more enjoyable space for all this summer, L’Oréal Paris is bringing their Stand Up Against Street Harassment campaign to the fields for Luno presents All Points East. Their pop-up will be raising awareness on how festival goers can feel confident and empowered to take action if they see something appropriate through their Stand Up training using 5D methodology. As helping us make a difference, L’Oréal Paris will be offering phone charging, a calming sit-down spot and a chance to chat with a trained volunteer about how to best get help if something does go array while on site.
Following a similar mission, Safe Gigs For Women have been advocating against sexual assault and harassment at live music events since 2015. As volunteer Mel Kelly says: “Your ticket costs as much as the guy standing next to you, so why are you being treated differently?”. Kelly joined the organisation in 2016, and has since attended gigs and festivals to chat to music fans about consent and how looking out for each other can make the music community a safer place for all.
SGFW’s Mel Kelly tells us her festival safety essentials, along with some extra tips from NME for good measure.
Know where your friends are
“Count your noses in and out,” says Mel Kelly. “Whether it’s the people you came with or you met them there, if you’re out in a group, make sure nobody gets left behind.” When there’s big crowds and the group splits to see different acts, it can be hard to keep tabs on everyone but have regular catch ups throughout the day to check if everyone’s OK.”
To avoid losing anyone, plan a meeting point with your friends in case you get split up. Phone signal might be hit-or-miss throughout the day with crowds overloading the network, so pre-agree where and under what circumstances you’d head over. For example, you’ll all reconvene before the headliner and after certain sets, or if someone didn’t make it back when heading to the toilet mid-set.
Look after others, as well as yourself
“I drill into people that your top responsibility is the people that you choose to hang around with,” explains Kelly. As well as knowing where everyone is, check in with those around you to make sure they’re having the best time possible.
Are they enjoying the set you’re watching? Ask who their must-see of the day is so you can make sure it’s on the schedule. Do they need anything like water or a break from the sun (or rain!)? Asking more general questions opens up a conversation for them to voice if anything is wrong, so you can help.
Also, if you see someone wandering around alone that doesn’t look OK, go over and see what’s up. If they’re lost, help them find their friends or let them stick around with you until they get in touch with their group.
With the recent warm summer, it’s even more important to keep topped up with water and get enough sleep.
“You can’t make good decisions if you’re not hydrated and rested,” explains Kelly. “It starts with looking after yourself before you can help look after other people. We’re not saying to not have fun and have a drink, but think about pacing yourself. Take a minute.”
As Luno presents All Points East aims to achieve zero waste to landfill and is minimising single-use plastic, bring a refillable water bottle with you that you can take to water points. Also bring a hat, sunglasses and suncream, and take a break in the shade every so often.
Capturing moments from the day and flaky signal will drain your phone battery so keep an eye on the percentage. You want to be contactable and be able to get home so don’t let it hit zero.
If your phone battery needs a boost at Luno presents All Points East, head over to the L’Oreal Paris tent as they’ll be offering a charging point across both weekends. There’s no need to miss out on capturing all those memories and you’ll be able to keep in touch with all your friends on site.
As well as knowing where your favourite artists are playing, have a look at what else is on offer. Most festivals publish a site map ahead of time, but still take a walk around as soon as you get there to get your bearings.
The can’t-miss areas are the welfare tent, first aid point and water points. Also, if the festival has multiple entrances and exits, work out which you’re using to either get home or go to your tent in case you lose the rest of your group and need to find a spot to meet.
From running between stages to partying the night away, festivals take a lot out of you. When planning who you want to see, take out time for food and sit downs so you can savour energy for the whole event.
Also, don’t miss the many pop-ups that visit festivals, whether checking out brands like L’Oreal Paris, record and vintage shops charities you can chat to about their different causes.
Also, if it all gets a bit too much, take a breather at a pop-up like L’Oreal Paris activation. The volunteers aren’t counsellors, but will be a friendly face and know who’s the best to help. The volunteers at the L’Oreal Paris pop-up at Luno presents All Points East are trained in how to help festival goers who have experienced harassment and can lend a helping hand.
Don’t be a bystander
If you see something you don’t like the look of, saying something can change someone’s whole festival season and it emphasises that harassment is never OK. Even if they’re fine, knowing someone is looking out for you makes such a difference.
The best ways to help are by implementing one of the 5D’s from L’Oreal Paris’ Stand Up Against Street Harassment training. In just ten minutes, you can learn five simple tools to make a difference that can empower us all; Distract the perpetrator, delegate by asking for help, document the harassment, be direct by speaking up or delay by comforting. Let’s make festivals safer for everyone.
Be aware of your surroundings
Escapism and freedom is part of the festival experience, but keep your wits about you and know what’s happening to other people around you. Overdoing it can quickly put yourself and others in danger.
Leave your valuables at home
Realising you’ve lost something or had it stolen is a gutting feeling. To avoid any mishaps, only take the essentials like your phone, card, ID and keys. As more festivals like Luno presents All Points East go cashless, think about whether you need your full wallet and if you can slim it down to the bare essentials. If you’re planning to pay via your phone wallet, do you need to bring your card at all?
If you’re camping, don’t leave anything valuable inside your tent when you’re out and about. Adding a padlock suggests you have something inside, so instead, make use of the locker facilities that are available at most festivals.
Tents can be hard to find in the dark, and if it’s a day event, your usual route home might be diverted.
As soon as you put up your tent, look for landmarks. The area around your campsite will change as more people arrive, so work out the path from the toilets, look for permanent structures like pylons and check if any nearby campsites have a flag or gazebo that you can’t miss.
For a day festival, stick with your group until the very end. Wait until everyone knows their route and walk as a group to the car park, bus stop, train station or taxi rank. Keep the group chat going until everyone sends their ‘I’m home’ text too. No-one gets left behind.
To find out more about the Stand Up Against Street Harassment Training you can take the introductory ten minute online here or register for a more detailed hour long in person session with the Suzy Lamplugh Trust here.