Musical festivals are places where people groove to live bands, dance and have the best time of their lives. However, loud music, crowded spaces and other factors often leave attendees feeling overwhelmed or discharged. In order to tackle such situations and make the festival inclusive, NH7 Weekender along with the Humsafar Trust, a 25-year-old LGBTQIH+ organisation and 6 Degrees, an LGBTQ+ Growth Network, installed a tent inside the festival venue. With a team of four Humsafar counsellors, the initiative wishes to welcome people, without regard to their race, ethnicities, nationality, gender identities, sexual orientation, abilities and disabilities.
Praful Baweja, co-founder of 6 Degrees, told The Indian Express that with the initiative, NH7 Weekender wanted to create a space for festival attendees to share their problems. He also said that instances of untoward behaviour and misconduct towards anyone that do not comply to the guidelines of the festival premises will also be addressed to. “Prior to the festival, we conducted a training programme where we had sensitisation training for crew members, volunteers and vendors part of the festival. This made them more affirmative towards the queer and aware of women’s safety,” he said.
He added, “People are welcome to walk in and talk to the counsellors here. We are also prepared for incidences of sexual misconduct. There have been instances where people get overwhelmed or just wish to have a quite space for themselves. We provide them that.”