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All that NH7 Weekender has to offer for an ‘inclusive’ experience | Pune News

Gender-neutral washrooms, gender-neutral frisking lines and trans security guards are some of the measures which would greet attendees at the Bacardi NH7 Weekender in Pune this year.

The 14th edition of the festival, which is to start from December 1, has on-boarded MIST LGBTQ Foundation as an inclusivity partner. Founder director of the foundation Shyam Konnur said the festival would see visible presence of staff and volunteers from the LGBTQ community.

Tej Brar, festival director of the weekender, in a written response to The Indian Express, said, “Inclusivity is ingrained within the core fabric of the festival…”

The Weekender is perhaps the biggest music festival with thousands drawing up to attend it. The 14th edition of the festival has an enviable line of both national and international artists who are set to entertain the attendees for three days.

When asked about the inclusivity partner, Brar said embracing diversity in all its form, the festival reflects the rich tapestry of India’s evolving musical landscape. “Our partnership with Mist will involve their advisory role across various departments aimed at establishing and upholding the inclusivity motto of our festival.

Festive offer

Our organizing team and crew undergo comprehensive sensitization, covering topics such as gender, pronouns, consent, and other critical elements for interacting with guests during crises or interventions. For the security briefing, the team conducts a session led by a trans/non-binary trainer, addressing all queries and conduct of communication,” he said. To address specific concerns, the festival would also have trans-security personnel.

“Mist will also provide briefings to the response team, empowering them to effectively handle any instances of harassment that may, unfortunately, arise during the festival. While we are confident that the happiest music festival will be an inclusive and enjoyable experience for all, we are well-prepared to address any unforeseen circumstances that may arise,” he said.

“We have also announced safety tents for festival goers who may feel overwhelmed or need a safe space to talk to professionals. We have also made provisions for gender-neutral washrooms and gender-neutral frisking lines to ensure inclusivity beyond the stage,” said Brar.

Konnur said this would be the first time that they are collaborating with an LTBTQ foundation as an inclusivity partner for a music festival. “Our role would be to raise awareness and to ensure the specifics of the community is followed. We would have our staff and volunteers on the ground, who can be approached anytime,” he said.

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