Making live events safe spaces

Arena audience

The NEC Group Arenas encompasses Utilita Arena Birmingham and Resorts World Arena, which are the first arenas in the country to pledge their support to Safer Dance – an initiative aiming to help raise awareness and tackle sexual violence against women at live events.

Alumnus Sam Hennerly jointly developed Safer Dance with Jack Young to tackle sexual harassment and misconduct in nightlife spaces after he felt that not enough was being done by venues.

By becoming a member of Safer Dance, the NEC Group has committed to undertaking self-assessments, which will lead to tailored, industry-specific training, guides on how to implement learnings, and peer networking and seminars with other nighttime economy businesses across the UK.

In a joint statement, Sam Hennerly and Jack Young said: “It’s imperative that the safety of our nighttime economy venues are prioritised and managed effectively. We believe that by creating the necessary culture of respect and following an approach that allows venues to Acknowledge, Commit, Plan and Continuously Improve will future-proof the viability of venues within the West Midlands.”

Director of Event Operations for NEC Group Arenas Alan Goodman said: “Although cases of sexual violence in our arenas are very rare, we can’t ignore this societal issue, and as venues that host millions of people every year, we’d like to do what we can to combat this. Live events should be safe spaces for everyone and regarding Safer Dance, it’s great to see young, local people in the industry wanting to do more to highlight this issue.”

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