SAFE Space FORM – a refuge of mental and physical healing, an escape from the chaos of festival. Powered by SAFE, the woman. collective, and (most importantly) an army of volunteers who showed up in growing numbers each day and night to provide their time, skills, and love to festival goers in need. Most of these volunteers were regular attendees of FORM, who for a range of reasons felt called to join our movement, opting to miss out on shows, art, and play to to give back any way they could.
It’s easy to forget sometimes in the sea of glittered faces and colorful costumes, that most attendees of these festivals are professionals, many at the tops of their fields. They are drawn to the festival to escape their day to day, to unplug and recharge, get inspired, and of course — have fun. But as wonderful and magical as festival culture can be, it can also be overwhelming, even dangerous. Which is why these SAFE spaces are so important. It means people can contribute pushing limits to the edge, knowing we are there with a net to catch them if they ever teeter over unexpectedly.
We had nurses and medics (even a midwife) offering medical care, wrapping sprained and broken ankles, offering cooling aloe straight off the plant to painful sunburns. There were licensed therapists sitting for hours with young people in crisis, in deep sadness, in states of self harm. Festivals are filled with such extreme happiness for the many, but they can just as easily amplify the lows and loneliness. We brought these people back to life, back to smiles and hope. In SAFE space, they were no longer alone. Many came back later, recharged and grateful, to pay if forward as volunteers to the next person in need. It was fucking beautiful.
The best way to avoid sexual harassment at festivals? Stop it before it starts. So many women came to SAFE SPACE (or were brought there by friends or kind strangers) not because something bad had happened, but because they were worried something might happen… Just knowing there’s a place to go when you just have THAT feeling. That’s how you feel #SAFE.