Empowerment
Soteria Women's Collective Creates Safe Spaces at Music Festivals

These “safe stapes” at Coachella are designed to prevent sexual misconduct.

Eleuthera Lisch and Ana Calderon of WOMAN. Collective are behind the safe spaces where festival-goers can seek respite and access counseling or medical help from licensed professionals.

“So we want to be there to protect social interactions. We want to make festivals,” explained Lisch. “We want people to be able to truly take positive risk and enjoy themselves.”

WOMAN. Collective partnered with Goldenvoice, the festival producer for Coachella and Stagecoach.

“We step in with our particular elements of activating a really beautiful sanctuary, creating a literal space where people can get respite, get a little support, and internally host clinicians, in partnership again with Goldenvoice,” Lisch said. “And restabilizing for people who might be experiencing trauma triggers, up to and include sexual harassment of assault.”

In early 2019, Coachella launched “Every One,” and initiative to prevent sexual misconduct. The initiative includes staffing onsite safety ambassadors, installing gender neutral bathrooms and increasing accessibility for people with disabilities.

Lisch and Calderon say their “Soteria” safe spaces could increase safety at music festivals and other cultural gatherings.

“We have had sort of a passion and enthusiasm for meeting people really where they are in the most extreme circumstances of this particular issue,” said Lisch. “Because it tends to strike so many young people…”