Edinburgh Fringe

Get Off Comedy fundraiser prepped as spike in harassment revealed

Saturday 19th August 2023, 12:47pm

Get Off Live Comedy

Get Off Live Comedy!, the independent HR organisation set up to tackle sexual harassment in the live comedy industry, has revealed there has been a spike in people using their services during this year's Fringe.

They say: "Every year at the Edinburgh Festival we experience a spike in victims using Get Off's services and in the second week of this year's festival we had already received double of the amount of contact we would normally.

"A festival creates a 'cocktail' of risk factors in which sexual harassment is known to increase: Late night working, alcohol, shared accommodation are just a few examples. There are others including power imbalances within the industry, a lack of clear and transparent and safe working practices which are made available to everyone.

"Nobody should be expected to silence an alarm regarding their own personal safety in favour of safeguarding their career. Where abuse and harassment does take place, it is an employer's legal and moral responsibility to address it; we are here to celebrate, to work to party but ultimately to be safe.

"It's not all bad news and Get Off is working with Edinburgh Festival Fringe to continue to improve safety for everyone.

"Complaints range in severity from HR to criminal and each case is treated seriously with victim and their wishes at the centre of everything we do.

"There have already been whispers in the press and on social media regarding some of the incidents, at Get Off we advocate absolute confidentiality for the victims and for their right to choose the level of disclosure.

"We employ a professional and highly trained HR specialist to support complaints and we are a not-for-profit organisation. We reach out to all sectors of the live comedy industry to become members and we provide specialist training in risk management.

"The job is difficult but not impossible as we aim to eradicate sexual harassment in our much-loved industry."

Aside from member contributions, the organisation raises the money it needs to operate via fundraising gigs. This year's Fringe show is at The Gilded Balloon on Tuesday (22nd August) at 7pm, with founder Kiri Pritchard-Mclean joined by Ivo Graham, Sikisa, Harriet Dyer, Emmanuel Sonubi and Nina Gilligan. EdFringe.com

For more details on the organisation visit getofflivecomedy.co.uk

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