'Nightlife Safety Summit' Program Aims to Prevent Sexual Assault in Nightlife

Apr 26, 2022

Melisa Yuriar

5 min read

Founded by credentialed advocate for sexual assault prevention, Kay Brown, Four 4 Consent aims to change how music industry professionals approach and learn about sexual assault prevention.

The newly unveiled Nightlife Safety Summit is a year-long ambassador program for artists, managers, agents, venue staff, and “any industry professional wanting to educate themselves on nightlife violence prevention within the music industry,” says Brown.

The course is not for the commitment-phobic: All ambassadors selected for the exclusive year-long program will need to commit to eight hours of Zoom classes a month. Of the ten mandatory meetings ambassadors attend to complete the course successfully, two will be group-focused, with sessions scheduled with their industry peers located nearby or within the same industry subgroup.

Four 4 Consent plans to hone in on two of the biggest music hubs in North America—the greater Los Angeles area and the East Coast, for “scene-specific education.” The non-profit organization’s goal with the year-long program is to educate and successfully mentor over 140 electronic music industry ambassadors in the hopes that they continue to prevent sexual assault and violence at every tier in the music industry pipeline.

“Sexual assault and violence can happen to anyone in the industry ladder, regardless of what you’re wearing and who you are,” said co-founder & Director of Operations Nikki Berry. The music business management graduate and Columbia College Chicago valedictorian recalls working booking and hospitality at a venue in Chicago and being accosted and harassed by men during a show for being the sole woman working that night.

“At one point, I decided to help out my door guy with ticketing, and the guys working kept asking me things like ‘Who’d you blow to get this gig?’ when I had literally just produced and booked the entire show. So when Kay asked me to join her, I said of course I want to help make people feel safe! People get treated like this no matter who you are—whether you’re a woman, queer, a person of color…it’s hard out there. If I can do anything to make someone feel more comfortable or respected, whether they are an attendee, someone working behind the scenes, and in the industry, that’s what we’re here for and why we’re doing this,” said Berry.

Four 4 Consent consists of Berry, the Director of Operations; Founder and Executive Director, Brown; and co-founder and licensed professional counselor, Brittany Guitterez. Together the Four 4 Consent organizers share over a decade of varied experience with the music industry and in advocacy work, with multiple members having worked in artist, label and tour management, hospitality and stage management, talent acquisition, and buying.

The idea for F4C, says Brown, stemmed from exasperation with the lack of consequences faced by several high-profile EDM musicians after allegations surfaced against them in 2020.

After penning an article for Fresh Music Freaks on artists, sexual violence, industry dynamics, and accountability, Brown saw the piece shared at an unprecedented rate. A dialogue began to emerge across the wider electronic dance music community.

“I think the third persona is something people really don’t understand with music, and combining it with parasocial relationships makes it even more dangerous,” Brown shared on dynamics and accountability concerning artists.

Brown’s mentor, Indrani Goradia, a women’s empowerment advocate and the founder of RAFT, Resilience for Advocates through Foundational Training, encouraged Brown to continue the momentum.

“[Goradia] said, Kay, you have the person in your corner that you need who is dying to push forward and work with you on this. Don’t play small. And so I asked my friend Nikki and shortly after we brought Brittany on board,” she said.

Since founding the non-profit, the Four 4 Consent Executive Director has been recognized by California's Office of Emergency Services as a Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Counselor and awarded “Registered Advocate with Advanced Standing” status from the Ohio Advocate Network.

Licensed counselor, Guitterez, is Ohio-based and has years of experience working with mental health matters, trauma, and even forensic issues.

Her expertise was pivotal in creating the Nightlife Safety Summit course material, as was the other organizers’ extensive knowledge of violence prevention, the music industry, and their combined formal education in Criminology, conflict resolution, mental health, and trauma.

To apply for the program as an ambassador, text “Ambassador” to (313) 367-1228 to receive links to apply for either the Los Angeles cohort or the Midwest/East Coast cohort. For more information about the new program, email ready@four4consent.org.

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