April CTA: Fest Your Best
In our call-to-action last month, we talked about the power of live music - the memories, the personal connections, heck, even the profits that it makes. Live music is an experience like no other, and it is enhanced times a million in the music festival setting. Coachella, Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, Hangout, etc, etc. You know and love all these dozens and dozens of fests out there and for good reason - they are a hell of a lot of fun.
As with anything that is half way enjoyable, though, there are some problematic aspects of festivals, too. These mega-events have their fair share of unsafe drug usage, sexual harassment and assault, and, assuming Ashley from Cedar Rapids is not an actual Native American tribal leader as her headdress would indicate, cultural appropriation.
With all of these issues afoot at music festivals, our call-to-action this month is for all Wimpact members to Fest Your Best at music festivals all summer. We have provide some tips on how to do so below:
Tip #1 - Be an active bystander.
Use the bystander intervention tips we provided in our February CTA with Girls Against to intervene if you see someone in an unsafe, non-consensual situation in the crowd. By speaking up, you are saying that sexual harassment and assault have no place at festivals - or anywhere for that matter, duh!
Tip #2 - Dress consciously.
When you are getting ready to attend a festival, engage in hard dialogues with any of your friends who may be planning to wear items of cultural significance to a culture other than their own. These items may include, but are not limited to, headdresses, bindis, sombreros, saris, and yes, the ever "trendy" cornrows. Do your part to keep cultural appropriation out of the "fashion" of festivals.
Tip #3 - Support women artists through power in numbers.
It is no secret that most main stream festivals have done, and continue to do, a terrible job at including women on their music lineups. We all get a vote every time we attend a set at a festival this year. Vote for the change you want to see on lineups. Show up in mass for the women performing on stage. Let it be known to the festival higher ups that there is a real demand for more women to play these festivals.
Tip #4 - Understand the onsite safety resources available to you.
Whether it be basic first aid or an emergency situation with drugs or alcohol, festivals have resources on their grounds to help. Do your research in advance on festival websites to learn more about the locations of and policies surrounding these resources. Many festivals, including Bonnaroo, have a "No Questions Asked" policy at their medical tents when it comes to drug safety. The most important thing is that you and your friends, and even strangers you meet, are happy and healthy. Look out for one another!
What other festivals tips do you have? Let us know by tweeting at us - @TheWimpact. Happy festival season!
Fest your best,