As jam-packed concerts create spaces for dance and music, those same spaces often become a nightmare to navigate, posing a risk to vulnerable attendees - mostly women. While venue safety becomes an increasing concern across the region, the digital feminist platform ‘Speak Up’ is taking its virtual presence on the ground into the upcoming Red Bull Sound Clash concert on May 12th to protect partygoers.
The Speak Up team will be present in a clearly marked booth next to the venue’s entrance, guiding attendees with the tools and resources to seek help in possible cases of harassment. The digital feminist platform is also set to provide harassment awareness training to security personnel ahead of the concert.
“I’m very glad we’re beginning to address concert culture and on-ground safety measures, and I believe this can be a start to inspire more initiatives across different events,” Gehad Hamdy co-founder of Speak Up tells SceneNoise, “We also need to start promoting collective and individual behaviour shifts without blaming victims, from making reporting mechanisms accessible to attendees, encouraging people to stay in groups and look out for fellow partygoers”.
The Speak Up awareness training will provide security personnel with the necessary tools to guide potential harassment victims in cases of emergency, along with psychological training to help mitigate panic and safely approach victims. Volunteers at the safety booth will also be ready to respond to inquiries from partygoers about the concert’s safety policy and how to report cases of harassment.
The digital platform rose to prominence during the 2020 feminist uprising in Egypt and has since then become a driving force in conversations surrounding sexual violence, with its violet colours and DIY logo synonymous with an evolving culture. And after a four-year hiatus, the upcoming Sound Clash is set to feature a rap versus indie battle and possibly a new approach to promoting safe practices at concerts.