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MU Signs Open Letter Demanding Return to Live Music Post-Pandemic is Safe and Inclusive For Everyone

The MU has signed UN Women UK’s open letter, calling for 2021 to be the year the music and events industries rise up to the call of the #MeToo movement – and commits to change.

Published: 24 August 2021 | 6:54 PM
A woman holding earphones who appears to be recording, there is a microphone, and open laptop and a notebook on the table.
“The music industry must adopt a zero tolerance approach to stamp out sexual harassment.” Photo credit: Shutterstock

Assistant General Secretary Naomi Pohl explained the MU’s support for the letter:

“We have been campaigning since the start of the #MeToo movement for the music industry to be a safe place for everyone.

“This is no small challenge because the nature of the industry means late night working, a power imbalance in many working relationships, freelance and informal working and presence of alcohol and drugs in work environments. The music industry is beginning to recognise the extent of these challenges and we've also had a pledge from the Government to extend legal protections for all workers.

“The time has come for real change. The music industry must adopt a zero tolerance approach to stamp out sexual harassment. If we work together, we can make it a safe and inclusive place for all musicians, music fans, freelancers and the employed workforce.”

We have a collective responsibility to take action

The contents of the letter reads:

Very soon, the music industry will be celebrating as our festivals and live events reopen to the world. It’s a moment we’ve all been waiting for. In a society that often works to divide us, music has the power to unite us – whatever the tough realities of life may be.

But now we must face our own reality. And this reality is one that our industry has too long ignored: venues, festivals, studios and workplaces are too often not safe spaces for women, girls and marginalised genders.

It is high time we change that, and we have a collective responsibility to take action. This restart needs to be for all of us. Our spaces must provide safety from harassment, violence, and abuse of power. Music should be a place of joy and inclusion for all.

Let’s make 2021 the year the music and events industries rise up to the call of the #MeToo movement – and commit to change.

The problem is everywhere. More than 7 in 10 women have been sexually harassed in the UK, and over 40% of women aged under 40 at a live music event. Within the music sector, over 60% of workers have experienced sexual harassment.

The vast majority of incidents go unreported, with over 95% of women not reporting sexual harassment. Almost half of UK musicians have faced sexual harassment at work, with workplace culture being cited as the greatest barrier to reporting.

As our spaces reopen this summer, we will not wait around while another woman experiences sexual harassment, violence or abuse – as an artist, as a professional, or as a fan. Let’s act now to make our music industry and live events safe.

You can see the most recently updated list of signatories, and ways you can take further action to support UN Women UK’s campaign on the UN Women UK’s website.

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