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Three Louisville music festivals focus on sexual harassment training

Hometown Rising, Bourbon and Beyond and Louder than Life are descending on the Kentucky Expo Center in Louisville this month alone.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Stages and art installations are still being set-up, for these three back-to-back music festivals, they're also working on something that's less visible. 

"We wanted to engage with our audience and expand what we consider our safety plan.This isn't necessarily a reaction to the reports coming in, this is an attempt to get ahead of anything that can come," said Virginia Schmitt who is the VP of Safety and Risk Management for Danny Wimmer Presents.

While there's been a lot of talk about sexual harassment at music festivals in Britain, there aren't any widespread reports tracking festivals across the US. 

Schmitt says they've had four reports of sexual harassment in the last year, "That's a really good number considering we've done six festivals in the last 12 months."

Even though it's a good number, they want to stay vigilant, that's why they're  working with the non profit Calling All Crows.

"We work on issues affecting women so really thinking about how you channel this power of live music. All these crowds at a festival or a concert and channel it towards community change," said Kim Warnick who's the Executive Director for Calling All Crows. 

They feel it's important to educate bystanders on how to spot and respond to sexual harassment. "So really anyone that's coming together to put together a festival or a show, we're trying to equip them with more skills to change the environment," said Warnick. Skills like breaking up a situation by asking for directions if you feel uncomfortable stepping in. 

Ultimately, Schmitt says she views this training as a necessary safety protocol, "This is a tool in our kit to make sure that we're treating our festival as a fully safe place."