Inclusivity & Safety at IMBC

At IMBC, we’ve always done what we can to make sure that the festival is a safe, welcoming and inclusive event for all. We started the event to celebrate craft beer in the UK and beyond, and over the years we’ve grown into the beast that you see today. With that, it means we have to review and improve our approaches to ensure everyone who wishes to attend can do so comfortably and confidently.

Becca (Volunteering Manager and Event Coordinator) is our Inclusion Lead and will be supported by Lou (Festival Manager) during the festival.

We’re working hard to make this the best IMBC yet in every possible way, including how inclusive and safe we are. Here are the steps we’re taking at this year’s festival to ensure this:

  • This year, we have an Inclusion Lead. From reviewing policies to ensuring our reporting processes are tight and effective, they’ll also be working closely with the rest of the team and security to act quickly if anything comes up during the event.
  • Once again, we will not tolerate any type of harassment, bullying or assault based on gender, race, ethnicity, religion, age, sexual orientation, disability, body size and physical appearance, and if we hear of anything that goes against this, we’ll act immediately
  • We’ll be operating on a one strike and you’re out approach to all of the above
  • We’ll also make sure that if you experience anything that makes you uncomfortable or threatens you in any way, that you’re in complete control when we receive the report. We’ll keep you informed about our next steps and won’t do anything until we’ve agreed a course of action.
  • Our core team have taken part in training on how to respond to sexual assault and harassment and how to support LGBTQ+ customers with access and safety, provided by the Good Night Out Campaign, and we are now accredited by them as an event. We’ll be using this training to ensure everyone at the event gets our full support.
  • All of the breweries attending should have received information about our policies and processes, and you will have to sign these as part of your Terms and Conditions of attending.

Whilst we will be dealing with any issues that arrive on site, a customer may well come to you if they experience anything that makes them uncomfortable or feel threatened.

Take them aside and listen to what they are saying, but do not deal with it yourself. Thank them for sharing their experience and explain that you will speak security and members of the IMBC team. We’ll know what to do next. Stay with the customer until a member of the team is with them, then go back to your position. Once the incident has been dealt with, we may ask you to provide information for an incident report. Any information you are given by the person reporting the issues must be treated in confidence, so please do not discuss it with anyone else other than Becca, Lou and security.

What happens if I’m a victim of harassment, bullying or assault?

If you experience any form of harassment or abuse, please report it to a member of the IMBC team or security, who will inform Becca and Lou. We will offer to take you somewhere quiet and you can give us as much information as you are comfortable sharing, which will be treated in confidence. We will work with you every step of the way to make sure it doesn’t have to ruin your event. We will only take steps that you are happy with as we want you to be in control of what happens next.

All of our on site staff and security will be briefed on our processes prior to the event so they know what to do and who to speak to. We want you to be confident that whoever you speak to, whether a volunteer, a food vendor, a brewery staff member or one of our team, they’ll be able to direct you to someone who can support you.

As much as we can prepare for any issues, we want to prevent them from even happening. This is where you come in. You make IMBC what it is. So if you see anything, please tell us. If your mate is being an idiot or doing something that affects someone else’s good time, tell them to pack it in. Report their behaviour to security. Don’t let it happen. We want everyone, no matter who they are, to enjoy their time with us and we can all work together to make sure that happens.

If you have any questions or concerns about any of this, then please feel free to email Becca at [email protected]. It is important to us to make sure we get this right.

Leave a Reply