Cultivating Consent Policy
Farm Block is committed to helping music festival culture evolve in ways that promote everyone’s safety and ability to engage in community. To that end, we are carrying forth the Consent Team initiatives we piloted last year.
By entering Farm Block, you are agreeing to our Consent Policy and Community Guidelines.
The Consent Team is a group of people available to answer Q’s about consent, provide supportive listening, and help you figure out how you want to handle it if your boundaries were crossed or you think you may have crossed someone else’s boundaries. While we are prepared to take action—up to and including expulsion—if anyone’s behavior significantly threatens others’ safety, we are committed to treating everyone with compassion and care, and our goal is to keep everyone in the community. We are not here to be punitive, but to provide support, reconciliation, and safety. We are available throughout the festival—look for people wearing black lanyards, or ask staff for help finding a Consent Team member.
You can also reach the Consent Team by filling out the incident reporting form found here.
This form can be filled out anonymously and can be used overnight or post festival. If you’re not sure whether to report something, please do so we can provide support before something becomes a major incident, and so we can keep improving.
Abridged Community Consent Guidelines
- Aim for Mutual Desire: The best way to prevent a violation is to focus on what everyone involved truly wants!
- Consent First: As much as possible, get clear verbal or nonverbal consent BEFORE interacting with someone else’s body or property. Any hesitation or “maybe” means no, or that there’s something to clarify. Even if you’ve done it before, ask!
- Talk About Communication Styles: Talk ahead of time about how you each like to communicate. Verbal check-ins? Nonverbal communication? How will I know if you’re having a good time?
- Talk About Boundaries and Desires: If there are things you know you don’t want or you know you like, say so! The less you’re each worried about a boundary accidentally getting crossed, the more you can relax and enjoy yourselves.
- Check In: Check in during physical activity. Ask Q’s, or clarify when ambiguous. Open ended Q’s are especially useful for finding mutual desire (e.g. What would feel good to you right now? What would make this better for you?).
- Say Stop, Wait, Pause, etc: Want an interaction to end? Need time to know what you want? U can say STOP, wait, pause, etc.
- Be Attentive: Watch for cues in body language which may communicate that someone is hesitant or uncomfortable (i.e. averting eyes, nervous laughter, frowning, freezing, pushing or pulling away, non-response). If you pick up any cues, ask for clarification.
- Be trauma-aware: Watch for signs that someone is frozen or being overly compliant (saying yes to everything). Trauma responses often come with dissociation or numbness, disorientation, or a sense that the person isn’t present.
- Respect Individual Agency: Do not try to convince, coerce, or manipulate another to engage in an activity or interaction when their answer—verbal or non—is any form of “maybe” or “no.”
- Substance Use: Know thyself. If you or the person you’re with are trying a new drug, it’s probably not a great time to also try a new physical activity or partner. In an altered state, ability to consent may be altered, too. Be extra careful when interacting with someone under the influence. Note that altered states can include sleep deprivation, low blood sugar, etc.
- Communicate: If something doesn’t feel good, consider talking about what happened with the individual to build and spread awareness. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to them, ask a Consent Team member or another trusted person for help.
- Contact: Contact the Consent Team if you want any support around consent or have witnessed anything concerning. Contact security for serious violations and immediate threats.
Consent Team Co-Leader: Sam Cooper: (810) 923-5956 email@example.com
Consultants: Consent Beyond Yes, Sarah Taub, Indigo Dawn.