- Being safe is cool. Go to a venue you feel super comfortable in – whether that’s a traditional pub surrounded by friendly faces, a bar showing comedy, or a more queer-friendly space. Whatever makes you feel comfortable should be where you’re venturing. If you enter a venue and feel watched or made to feel a bit weird, don't be afraid to be the person that asks to leave. You’d be far better off doing that than staying somewhere that makes you feel bad.
If anyone does make you feel uncomfortable at any point, even if it’s someone you arrived with, you don’t have to put up with that. Tell someone! Even if it’s the girl next to you, the bartender, or a member of the security team, you never have to put up with someone making you feel bad.
On the flipside of that if you’re out with someone and they don’t seem totally down with whatever you’re up to just ask if they’re ok. If you think you’re flirting with someone and they (sadly) don’t feel the same it’s not the end of the world and you also can’t blame that person for the sparks not flying. The only way you can clear this up is by asking. Be open. Consent is hella sexy.
Do the basics: keep an eye on your drink (it’s scarily easier than you’d think to spike someone), don’t hang out with someone who’s pressuring you in to anything you don’t want to do, keep an eye on how much you’re drinking – if the room starts spinning it might be time go home. This all seems like boring motherly advice but it’s easily forgotten once you’ve got past your second drink.
Check in on those around you. Being a good bystander is awesome. If you see someone who looks uncomfortable ask them for the time, give them a quick sec to get out of a situation that might not be great for them. If they’re fine, cool, move on. If they’re not, don’t be a hero, grab a member of staff or a security guard – they are there to help!
Fringe goes on into the wee hours, and that’s amazing. If you are hitting up some late shows or getting out of a production that finishes later then try where possible to make sure you have a buddy to walk home with. It’s great that the meadows are lit and are still relatively busy but it’s never a good idea to put yourself in to a dangerous situation (even if the booze is telling you you’re fine). If you can’t grab a pal that night then have no fear there are a couple of options available to you:
Grab a taxi. (duh)
If you can’t afford a taxi some badass female comedians have set up Home Safe Collective to ensure women (cis and trans) and non-binary people can safely get home from town. Just register by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and you can grab a taxi for free (funded by donations from lovely people).
You can also use the Facebook group I’ll Walk With You to see if there’s anyone who can walk home with you or at least in the same direction as you!
Most importantly have a great time, meet new friends, be kind to each other, eat lots of snacks, drink lots of water, and just have a brilliant time, Edinburgh Festival Fringe is a really special place, let’s feel safe in it too.
Most importantly see Coming Home With Me – our award winning, five-star production about sexual harassment and assault on nights out in the UK. We’d love to have you in the audience and to have a chat about your experiences on a night out! We’re on at Sweet Novotel, 2nd-11th August at 19:15 every night!
Girl Code Theatre have written some helpful tips on keeping yourself safe and having a great night out at Edinburgh Fringe. They're also performing at Sweet Novotel every day until the 11th!