Your Choice was launched at Bakehouse Studios in Melbourne today by several high-profile stakeholders including: Splendour In The Grass co-founders Jessica Ducrou and Paul Piticco, UNIFIED founder and CEO Jaddan Comerford, co-founder of Save Live Australia’s Music Helen Marcou, director of the Hills Are Alive Rhett McLaren, and Sally Mather from the Corner Hotel.
Inspired by It Takes One – a campaign launched by Melbourne band Camp Cope to end violence and sexual harassment at shows – Your Choice aims to enact cultural and behavioural change through a shared responsibility between event operators and punters alike.
“What we don’t look at is what is the patron's code of practice,” said Splendour’s Paul Piticco. “When you go to an event, you [patrons] are the eyes and ears. We can’t have the security on every patron. It hasn’t really been articulated to our audiences – that you are responsible. A lot of the time it’s very few people ruining the occasion for a lot of people, and this is about pushing back some of the responsibility and awareness [on patrons].”
“This is about taking grassroots campaigns like It Takes One and giving it a national platform,” added Rhett McLaren from Hills Are Alive.
Your Choice will initially roll out as a website, which will act as an information sharing platform for venues, artists, festivals and other industry bodies. It will also encourage venues to implement a set of house rules, such as “No means no”, “Look after our place like you would your own”, and “Throw a party, not a projectile”.
While Your Choice, in conjunction with members of the Vic Sexual Assault Task Force, are having ongoing and positive discussions with the Victorian Government, Sally Maher from The Corner Hotel said being proactive within the community is equally important. “Regulation is reactionary. It’s helpful but not the be all and end all. This involves everyone as a community to make a cultural change.”
The rollout of Your Choice is timed to coincide with Splendour in the Grass, which takes places from July 21st to 23rd at North Byron Parklands. However, Splendour’s Jessica Ducrou said the initiative is not necessarily borne out of a decline in festival-goers behaviour, but an increase in reportage and discussion on social media. “In the age we live in, the mechanics we have to talk about these issues is what’s changed. Social media has given people a voice and it’s come to the forefront because of that.”
A day of solidarity is planned calling on the music community to change their Facebook profile page to a Your Choice logo.
Visit the Your Choice website for more details.
Topics: Your Choice