Air out your tents, bust out your Doc Martins and embrace last year’s glitter still sparkling in your hair – music festival season is upon us. And it’s shaping up to be a cracker.
Listen Out has kicked off the summer of festivals today in Melbourne, and upcoming must-attends include Spilt Milk, Lost Paradise and Falls to name a few. The next six months are definitely worth getting pumped up for.
The threat of last-minute festival cancellations isn’t hanging over our heads anymore either. Common sense finally prevailed in the NSW Government this week – Labor managed to reverse Gladys’ strict AF festival regulations from earlier this year.
Several festivals were labelled as ‘high risk’ and had to fork out for a bunch of new licenses (ridiculous). The super spenny new regulations have not been easy for organisers to swing – remember Mountain Sounds? Yeah, not cool Gladys.
Thanks to Labor, the music industry finally has the chance to collab with the NSW Gov on safety policies that might actually work. But it’s not just the government that needs to step up their game…
Why We Need To Up Our Game
Sexual harassment, assault and drug-related harm still happen on the reg at music festivals. And a lot of that type of stuff is on us. It’s awesome that organisers can now work with the government on changing the stats, but it’s gonna take a lot more than that.
Music festivals tend to be geared toward young audiences, and may constitute the site of sexual harassment and assault against younger women.https://t.co/FEhHx6GW8p
— The Conversation (@ConversationEDU) January 9, 2018
If only the increased police presence at music festivals was also used to do something about the levels of sexual assault and harassment that occurs.
— Eliza Berlage (@verbaliza) February 25, 2019
Music festivals are all about enjoying yourself and making awesome mems with your pals along the way. Pollies have been quick to pounce on misdemeanours at festivals in the past to make broad sweeping claims about festival-goers, and we know a lot of those claims are straight BS. The less we give them reason to do this, the better.
In an ideal world, everyone would head to a festival, have a lit time and head home in high spirits. Not to be preachy, but looking out for your mates, keeping dickhead behaviour to a minimum and being sensible with your decision making are not a bad place to start.
Here’s the thing right, there is so much we can blame the government for (and they bloody deserve it for every over-policed, fun-removed presence they often have at festivals). But we also need to be better as young people. Let’s avoid giving the government or the media a chance to drag us through the mud, kill more festivals and take away the times we look forward to so damn much.
Let’s keep music festivals around the country just the way we like them. Safe, ridiculously memorable, and just a generally good time to be with music, and people we love.
Image source: @hannynaibaho Unsplash