Speedy Ortiz Works to Keep Shows Safe for Fans

Photo by Daniel Topete

From the drunken moshers to the fans who will do anything in their power to pummel their way to the front row, uncomfortable behavior in the pit can seem like just another part of the concert experience. But, according to the Massachusetts indie group Speedy Ortiz, concert attendees have a right to come home from shows without newly-formed bruises, beer-soaked hair, or even worse.

In a recent Facebook post, Speedy Ortiz introduced a new initiative to work towards making their shows as safe as possible. If a fan feels threatened by someone else’s behavior, they can directly contact the band via a text message hotline (574) 404-SAFE, which prompts the band to alert the venue’s security.

The Facebook post reads:

We believe that as a concertgoer you have a right to an inclusive, welcoming performance space. Music should be free of discrimination, & venues should strive to keep concertgoers of all kinds safe. We’d like to help.

Harassment and intolerance will not be permitted at tonight’s show or at other Speedy Ortiz shows. Prejudicial, oppressive language and aggressive behaviors of any kind are unacceptable to us. This includes, but is not limited to: racism, sexism, classism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, & all other oppressive and marginalizing actions and microaggressions. The emotional and physical safety of our friends at shows is of paramount importance to us. We want to play shows that are built upon community support and mutual respect.

Though the band anticipates that their system will require some adjustments to make it as effective as possible, their dedication to changing the culture of concerts is admirable, and will hopefully inspire other bands to follow in their footsteps. Rock on, Speedy Ortiz!

Catch Speedy Ortiz in Philly touring their new album Foil Deer on September 23 at Underground Arts. 

Watch Speedy Ortiz’s music video for “The Graduates” below, and read Speedy Ortiz’s complete announcement here.

What do YOU think of this new initiative to keep their fans safe? Should other artists have this in place? Tell us in the comments below!

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