Boomtown is passionate about respect. Respect for yourself and respect for others. We want to ensure that everyone who comes to our festival is safe without having to worry too much!
We wanted to put this guide together to help you understand all the ways to keep you and your mates out of harm's way when exploring the city this August. For our full harm reduction mission check out our Safety Pages.
How to act in crowds ….
We know it’s been a long time since many people have been in large crowds and for some it might even be the first time! Large crowds can be daunting at the best of times so we want to make sure everyone has all the information they need to handle the hustle and bustle of the streets of Boomtown.
Boomtown is a city with streets and at times they get crowded (much like any other city). It can take a little time for citizens to move through the city and you may find yourself caught up in crowds, especially at peak times. The trick is to take it slow! Don’t force yourself through the crowds as this can cause further issues for other citizens. Be patient and be respectful as you walk around and explore our world.
If you're coming in a group or lucky enough to find yourself a fresh new community to enjoy the fun, make sure to look out for your fellow citizens! We are a community and we never leave anyone behind or turn a blind eye to a friend in need.
Remember you don’t have to go into the centre of crowds to have a good time! If you're not feeling up for it or don’t like the idea of being wedged between people you don’t have to force yourself. Simply find a spot towards the back or sides of the crowds and enjoy the vibes and make space for dancing!
For any kind of quick exit while deep in a crowd we suggest leaving out the side. These areas are always less densely populated and you’ll be out of the crowd quicker than fighting through to the back.
When leaving a stage at a particularly busy time you may want to hang back for 10 minutes to let the majority of people leave the area before you head off on your next adventure.
Before you set off… arrange a meeting point at the destination you’re heading off to. This means when you get there and you’ve lost someone from your group they’ll know exactly where you’ll be.
If areas of the city get busy, we may need to pause access to them. Please listen out for directions from stewards and keep an eye on the LED signs across-site which will tell you whether spaces are closed and alternative routes to take. Please remember that our stewards and security are here to help you have a great time.
When it comes to drugs we are all about the ‘Four Ps’, Prevent, Protect, Prepare, Pursue. It treats drug usage as more of a welfare issue than criminal. This has really allowed our messaging to be more honest, open and informative. To read our full drugs policy check out our Drug Safety Page.
This year on site we will welcome back The Loop. Unfortunately they are unable to bring their front of house drug testing service back this year but they will have a tent next to Hilltop Welfarel to bring drug education into our festival. If you have any questions about drugs and drug use we recommend stopping by to talk to one of their amazing professionals!
We do have a back of house testing operation, meaning we can test any samples that have been seized or handed in via our medical and welfare points. This ensures we can effectively communicate any warnings of dodgy batches of drugs circulating on site.
We will also have Cocaine Anonymous onsite running daily meetings for whoever may need that support while onsite. The timings of each meeting will be able to be found in the Woov App.
We know there has been a massive conversation around spiking within club and event spaces over the last year and we want to make sure you know we are taking this issue seriously and are putting in measures to deal with any potential incidents on site.
Onsite we will have the below measures in place…
- Trained welfare staff who will be able to assist in any spiking incident or offer advice on the matter if you are feeling anxious.
- Bar staff will be trained in dealing with any incident revolving around spiking.
- We will also have onsite urine testing kits that can be used in suspected spiking incidents.
- We will continue to work within close contact with home office and local council guidance.
We have a zero tolerance policy on spiking and anyone who has been caught with needles/syringes (without an identifiable medical need) or doing it will be evicted and potentially handed over to the police.
We encourage anyone who experiences spiking or suspicious behaviour to report it via our onsite incident reporting system on the WOOV app or to a member of staff immediately so our team can fully investigate this.
At Boomtown we have an absolute zero tolerance policy when it comes to harassment and sexual assualt. No member of our community should be taking part in this type of behaviour. Boomtown is a space for our community to gather and party with full respect for each other. If you come to The Gathering with disrespectful and harmful intentions you are not welcome as part of our community.
Bystander Intervention - The 5 D’s
We are all responsible to squash inappropriate and harmful behaviour within our event and this is a simple way to intervene when you witness harassment.
Distract - Do the unexpected: Change the focus away from the victim!
Delegate - Ask someone else to step in: Inform a member of staff and ask for their help, this could be a steward, security member, bar staff or any front of house team.
Document - Take a video, photo or written record of the incident: ONLY film or record an incident if it is safe to do so.
Delay - Once the situation has calmed down:
- Stop and check in with the person who has been harassed, ask if they are ok
- Ask if there is anything you can do to support them
- Ask they would like you to accompany them to their destination
Direct - Intervene in the situation:
- Hold the perpetrator accountable for his/her actions.
- Demand that the harassment stop. Make it clear that all people have the right to be free from any form of harassment.
Ask for Angela
All our bars onsite site will be briefed on the Ask for Angela campaign, and will assist festival goers who need discrete help to get out of a situation. They will be able to request additional support, i.e security or Safer Spaces team if you need them.
Zero Tolerance Policy
We encourage anyone who witnesses or is subject to any sort of harassment to report the incident to staff members (stewards, security, bars or any front of house teams). This allows us to take immediate action and investigate. Proactive intervention from everyone will help us create an inclusive respectful party.
If you are caught being abusive in any way at the event you will be issued with a warning or or evicted from the site.
This year we will be joined by Safer Spaces. Safer Spaces help educate and create a culture that confronts and prevents sexual violence, harassment and domestic abuse at festivals and events; providing access to specialist support, reporting and ongoing localised referral pathways.
Safer spaces will have a presence in our Welfare, there will also be a Safer Space cabin up in the Hilltop medical area. There are 24 hour responders that will be able to support with any reports of harassment or sexual assault.
The Welfare tents are welcoming safe spaces where people can come and hang out, use facilities and escape to for some calm. The tents also provide a safe space for people to report incidents and get the professional support they need.
Safer Spaces will also have outreach teams in the campsites and venues who you can talk to if you feel unsafe or have witnessed an incident.
Even though the Safer Space team are gender informed, their services are always gender inclusive, They won’t turn anyone away who needs a safe space.
Respect Yourself is one of our core values that builds the Boomtown ethos. Make sure you're looking after your mates but also yourself over the weekend. A weekend at a festival can definitely take its toll on you. On site we have a support system for you to use if you are needing any advice, some TLC or even just a time out.
The Welfare Team
Our specially trained welfare teams can be found in either the Hilltop or Downtown Welfare centres. We urge anyone to make use of these facilities if feeling at all overwhelmed or need a bit of extra care.
Across our three campsite villages we will have charity partner stalls set up who are equipped to support mental health and wellbeing. The providers will be The Samaritans, Trinity and Tonic. We also have an acute mental health response team to support anyone in a major crisis. Please report to the campsite hubs, or steward and security teams if you or someone in your party need help.