Published Jul 21, 2017Osheaga is ready to return to Montreal later this summer, and in gearing up for the event, organizers have just unveiled new measures to ensure safe festival experiences for female and LGBTQ-identifying attendees.
The fest has enlisted a professional safety team called the Hirondelles to protect those who may be vulnerable on site. The mobile group is made up of trained women who specialize in helping vulnerable people at concerts, and they will be identifiable by their pink armbands featuring a pair of sparrows (the English translation of "hirondelles"). That logo and the services it represents will also be found on posters and near designated quiet spaces on the Osheaga grounds.
The same team was recently implemented at the Montreal Jazz Fest earlier this summer.
The decision comes following a 2017 survey by the Montreal Women's Council, which revealed that 56 percent of women revealed say they have been sexually harassed at music festivals.
The festival has also partnered with GRIP Montreal to implement harm reduction for those who take psychoactive substances. GRIP will provide quiet recovery zones, as well as trained support workers to anyone in need.
Additional safety precautions this year also include first aid teams,"monitoring teams" and a psychologist/clinical sexologist to provide care on site. Osheaga attendees are also able to identify allergies and emergency contacts when they register their RFID wristbands.
"The safety and well-being of everyone has always been at the heart of our concerns when organizing all of our events," Evenko executive vice-president and chief operating officer said in a press statement. "This year, as in the past, we put in place a plan with the primary objective of allowing visitors to fully enjoy the entertainment experience in a safe environment."
As previously reported, Osheaga is set to take place from August 4 to 6 at Parc Jean-Drapeau in Montreal. Find full festival information here.