In the two years we have been apart, we've had a lot of time to think about our intentions here at DGTL, especially in terms of the festival experience we hope to provide for you. While the festival grounds remained quiet, our office was busy preparing for the next great leaps in our journey. We're thrilled to finally be able to share more about our efforts to make our festival grounds a safer space.
Before vouching for our spaces as a ‘safe space’, we had to contemplate whether our festival grounds were actually a safe space? A place of pure joy and happiness, where people can freely express themselves and safely let go of their inhibitions?
We’ve packed our efforts into the DGTL Safe(r) Project. This page is an in-depth guide to DGTL's exploration of the principles that define a safe space and how our Festival Ethics can help manifest this, with action-oriented responses.
We've only scratched the surface of what DGTL hopes to continue pursuing. As with any new adventure, we're bound to learn a lot along the way.
We've teamed up with Rave Scout Cookies® to lay the foundation for this new frontier through its rave sustenance project. Rave Scout Cookies is a co-creative electronic music platform championing marginalized talents, cultivating socio-conscious dance floors, and fostering safe(r) space(s) in underground dance music communities. Together with Rave Scout Cookies, we developed our Festival Ethics, which we hope will aid in the development and maintenance of a safe space where everyone can express and experiment with their own sense of freedom.
Here at DGTL, we are committed to furthering our duties to social responsibility and promoting art, music, and culture in our community.
It is our mission and goal in partnership with Rave Scout Cookies to promote a culture in which we all balance between being socially responsible and enjoying the moment with conscious intention and logic. We believe that by doing so, we will be able to create a space where everyone feels welcomed, comfortable and fully embraces the undeniable power of art and music. With hopes to create a social-conscious dance floor for all, where consent-culture is instilled in all aspects of our festival between all members of our audience, thus creating a safe space for exploration and expression which we hope to provide sustainably to all members of our DGTL family, and to future members as well.
To achieve this, we devised a set of three pillars that represent our Festival Ethics, those being:
- Harassment Free Space
- Harm Reduction
- Collective Accountability
So how do we define a safe space?
A safe space is a place or an environment in which a person can feel confident that they will not be exposed to discrimination, criticism, harassment, or any form of emotional or physical harm. We hope this definition fits to some extent, the same one you have in your head as well.
At DGTL we strive to be inclusive for every sex, race/ethnic origin, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, cultural background, religious affiliation, age, physical or mental ability. Everyone should always be and feel welcomed at DGTL: We are all free under the bass. With the introduction of DGTL Festival Ethics, we are making our first steps in creating a safe space policy for our festivals.
At DGTL, we believe that everyone has the right to a safe festival experience, free of hate speech, discrimination, violence, and predatory behavior. Harassment is defined as any action that could cause offense or humiliation, which may include unwanted attention and invading of personal space and boundaries. It is our aim to create a harassment-free space at DGTL through our commitment to tackling harassment in real time and our efforts to cultivate a culture of consent.
Our space welcomes individuals from all walks of life and with different needs. With our commitment in preventing harassment, we hope to ensure that our space is treated with dignity and respect. By educating and training our crew and staff, we hope to provide timely responses and take accountability for harassment prevention; all in the hope of instilling and providing you with a sense of security while in our space.
While on location at the festival, you’ll find members of our Awareness Crew walking around. As the name implies, our Awareness Crew will be the eyes and ears of our event, on alert for any uncomfortable situations one might find themselves in. The members of our Awareness Crew have been trained to handle such situations by being equipped with all of the necessary skills to de-escalate tensions and assist you in returning back to safety. Furthermore, they serve as a shoulder to trust and lean on if you ever feel uncomfortable, uneasy or at risk while attending our festival.
If you witness - or are a victim of - behaviors that make you feel unsafe, please notify our team leads, crew, awareness team, or security personnel. We are striving to create a welcoming and inclusive dance floor. We will not tolerate any harassment at our festival grounds, and expect our artists, crew, and visitors to make a pledge to join us in this collective effort.
Harassment Free Spaces Require Consent Culture
A consent culture is a shared ideology between all attendees and visitors of our audience regarding the importance of consent when engaging in physical, verbal, emotional and mental relationships with another individual.
Nobody is allowed to occupy a space, mind, or body that has not been mutually agreed upon. Consent is obtained when the other party says an enthusiastic “Yes”, not when someone doesn’t say “No”.
The basics of consent are:
- Consent includes both verbal and non-verbal cues;
- Consent requires clarity and consciousness;
- Consent is a conversation, it is an enthusiastic “Yes”;
- You can withdraw your consent at any time;
We have the freedom to make our own decisions as adults, but this freedom comes with the responsibility of making responsible decisions. This includes the responsibility to keep ourselves accountable for the choices we make: Know your substances, know your body, be mindful, and consume consciously. Don’t go swimming alone.
Our mission is to eliminate the shame and stigma associated with substance use by promoting harm reduction practices and providing resources to our community. We do not endorse or condone the use of illegal substances. We merely aim to educate people about drug safety, mental health, and sexual health in an open, honest, and engaging manner.
Be a conscious consumer and know what you’ll be taking. While exciting times lie ahead, taking the necessary precautions, such as having your drugs tested and being informed, is a good place to start. Moreover, when in doubt, less is always more. Additionally, keep in mind that, ultimately, only you should have the final say over what goes into your body. Peer pressure is challenging to overcome. Recognizing that everyone has fun in their own unique way helps to reassure you about your choices.
Furthermore, being aware of your state of mind is critical, as drugs have a tendency to amplify how you already feel. With this in mind, it's always a good idea to surround yourself with supportive friends and to inform them of any decisions you're about to make so that appropriate measures can be taken in the event of an emergency.
Finally, don't neglect your physical well-being. Remember to stay hydrated, but avoid over-hydrating. Drugs can dehydrate your body, increasing your heart rate and putting you at risk for a heat stroke. Non-alcoholic rehydration, taking physical breaks, and eating nutritious meals before and during your party all contribute to a more sustainable dancing experience.
There must be an understanding among all DGTL attendees, artists, and crew that a safer dance floor is a collective effort.
To foster a safe and uplifting festival environment, dance floors should vibrate and embody our collective rhythm. Each individual plays a critical role in preserving the values and ethics that define a safe space, necessitating collective accountability. We mustn't lose sight of dance music's progressive origins and how we, as contemporary participants, can uphold its legacy of securing a safe space for marginalized communities and beyond. With the help of attendees who are aware of our collective responsibilities in fostering a safe space, we hope that we can cultivate a community that embodies what it means to be accountable, thereby reverberating a safe and inclusive environment.
DGTL is a place where we dance through our differences and support one another through tentative listening, compassion, mutual respect, and understanding. At DGTL, we want to invite every voice and body to be the best version of themselves & join us in our mission.
We hope you recognize the critical role you play in maintaining a socially conscious dance floor and embrace this responsibility with pride.
Collective accountability is defined around:
- Each individual’s right to personal safety and autonomy;
- Making the festival's safe space policy transparent to all attendees;
- Considering the intersections that others may be carrying;
- Creating room for those who are marginalized to express themselves;
We invite you to join us in this cause.