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Speedy Ortiz Have Set up Their Own Hotline to Keep Fans Safe at Shows

“Be kind to each other. Keep your shirts on! Look out for each other’s comfort.”
Emma Garland
London, GB
September 8, 2015, 1:49pm

Massachusetts alt rock band Speedy Ortiz are about to head out on tour in support of their latest album, Foil Deer. But this time they’re bringing something more than support bands and The Good Wife DVDs with them. They’re bringing their own “help hotline” to support fans who may feel physically or emotionally unsafe at one of their shows.

Intended to be used by fans to “text if [they] are being harassed or feel unsafe at a Speedy Ortiz show,” (574) 404-SAFE is launched to promote everyone’s right to an “inclusive, welcoming performance space.” Although not a reaction to one particular incident, the move does come as a way of trying to combat instances where fans have been made to feel unwelcome at shows. It recalls an incident at The Julie Ruin’s set at Burger-A-Go-Go last weekend when a woman was pushed and interrupted by a man shouting “You’re so sexy!” at Kathleen Hanna. The irony of someone catcalling Kathleen actual Hanna at an all-female festival is neverending, so unsurprisingly that particular incident was met with Hanna getting security involved and telling whoever it was to “move to the back.”

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But unfortunately not all shows involve Kathleen Hanna, and not all people in bands are able to keep an eye on everyone in the crowd, which is something Dupuis acknowledged in a series of tweets about the hotline:

sometimes as a showgoer i've felt unsafe & didn't know what to do. as a performer i've always have an easier time getting security's ear

— sadie dupuis (@sad13) September 7, 2015

i'm hoping we can leverage our privilege as performers to help keep our friends in the crowd safer. we'll see how it goes but i'm optimistic

— sadie dupuis (@sad13) September 7, 2015

The band shared a flyer on their Facebook detailing the reasons behind the hotline - a way for fans to have a voice and for the band to make sure it gets heard. The post also includes a few #hottips for concert-goers to help avoid the need to use the number in the first place; the kind of basic human decency you would expect from a live event attended by hundreds of strangers in a public place that somehow can never be repeated enough, such as: “be kind to each other,” “taller people, let shorter folks up the front so they can see,” and “keep your shirts on!”

“Texts will go to us and we will work with venue security to try and get you out of harm's way,” the flyer reads, “It's a new system we're trying out and we're sure it will require tweaks along the way, but we hope in the long run it can make our shows safer and more fun for everyone. We love you all.”

Read the full flier below and catch Speedy Ortiz on tour in the US and Europe on these dates.

Flier via Speedy Ortiz on Facebook

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