GrooveSafe is a movement within the musical community to bring awareness about unwanted touching and sexual assault at concerts. #GrooveSafe #ALLGENDERSALLGENRES
Yes, it happens and it’s terrible. For years, going to concerts was my happy place. There was just one element of the environment that was always uncomfortable. From time to time, I would get groped or grinded on. I spent many shows wondering why people thought it was okay to touch other people without permission. It ruined entire nights when I was so put off, so violated, that I had to excuse myself from the show.
I figured if this was happening to me so much, it had to be happening to others.
I began to talk about it, mostly with friends and in online groups. I knew I had to be brave and talk about this issue as much as I could.
In the fall of 2016, there was an incident at a Phish show in Las Vegas where a man’s girlfriend was groped and it created a loud online discussion, as it should have. This prompted me to extend the conversation outside of my trusted circles. With a background in Psychology, human behavior fascinated me but I was also sick of people hurting others.
I created a thread in a large internet Phish forum and the response was overwhelming. There was a variety of responses ranging from “I had NO idea this was happening” to “Thank you for addressing this, I didn’t realize I was assaulted until this conversation”.
I learned so much from that research and those testimonials, not only how frequently this was happening but it happens while sober, in every music scene and to people of all genders. I knew I needed to start a movement. Body safety is something that is taught in kindergarten and keeping your hands to yourself is expected to have been learned long ago. There are movements and campaigns that stress the importance of consent in many areas of our culture. Why should the music scene be any different?
We would love to partner with bands, venues, promoters and groups to spread our message.
The movement starts with awareness which will lead to changing behavior as well as protecting each other. Keep talking about this and look out for one another. This is a mission within the community, for the whole community, to better the community.
We look forward to putting an end to sexual assaults and unwanted touching at concerts.
Ashley Driscoll, Founder
Participation Row at Dead and Co, Summer Camp Music Festival, Sweetwater420 Festival, Camp Bisco, Peak Builders Networking Events, PhanArt, WaterWheel, Phish Academic Conference OSU, Umphrey's McGee After Party with Wyllys, Charm City Blue Grass Festival, Cobblestone Live, Night Lights Music Festival, DC Music Review, Live For Live Music, Mirth Films, NYS Music, Long May They Run Podcacst, GrooveSafe AllStars, Merchandise tables of GrooveSafe Artist Ambassadors, The Brooklyn Bowl, Buffalo Iron Works and more.
Mirth Films had an opportunity to sit with Ashley and discuss the history of the movement, what it means to her and what the goal of the initiative is for the future. These can be hard conversations to have, but awareness is the first step toward prevention.