Brian O'Connor
Brian is Mintel Ireland’s Senior Consumer Analyst/Research Production Manager and has a broad focus across Leisure/Tourism, FMCG, Retail, Finance and Industrial sectors.

Festival season has officially started, with thousands of music lovers all over the world ready to boogie to their favourite artists. In 2017, Mintel research revealed that a quarter of Brits attended a music festival in the previous year, highlighting the popularity of these events.

However, the experience can turn unpleasant for many festival-goers: indeed, upcoming research on events tourism in Ireland highlights that a significant number of consumers in Northern Ireland and in the Republic of Ireland believe that it is easy to feel unsafe at concerts and festivals – with women in both regions more likely than men to agree. And a BBC article in June 2018 reported that a high number of women in the UK who visited music festivals had faced unwanted sexual behaviour.

Concert-goers attend these events for fun and leisure, and a feeling of unease or being unsafe could see more women opting to forgo these events altogether. So what can is to be done?

Fortunately, there’s much inspiration from around the world on progress being made to ensure the safety of women. In August 2018, we’ll see the first Statement Festival in Swedena music festival for women, transgender and non-binary people that aims to foster a safe and enjoyable environment for festival-goers.

The trend extends beyond festivals themselves, and can include travel to and from said events, or travel in general. In 2017, Argentina launched SheTaxi, a new service for the women of Rosario to order taxis with female drivers, as women often report feeling uncomfortable or threatened when using male taxi drivers. While in Shenzhen, China, women-only subway carriages were trialed to ensure the convenience and safety of female passengers during rush hour.

Technologies and new approaches are being used globally to help make women feel safer and more at ease, and in the future we can expect to see similar measures taken in the UK and Ireland to help create a safer environment for women – be it at a concert, or trying to get home after a night out.