February 27, 2024

Taylor Daily Press

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Lots of illegal behavior in the music industry

Lots of illegal behavior in the music industry

Holland Sound Studio

Transgressive behavior is a huge problem in the music industry. Research conducted on nearly a thousand music professionals shows that more than half of them have had to deal with it in the past five years.

One in five survey respondents had engaged in physical sexual misconduct. Other victims faced physical assault, discrimination and intimidation, among other things.

These types of things affect your career.

Rita Zipora, former singer and songwriter

The research was commissioned by Taskforce GO!, a task force set up after revelations of behind-the-scenes abuse at the TV show. Voice of the Netherlands. “We were absolutely blown away by the results,” says Annabelle Hagen, President of Taskforce GO. “We knew that the sound It wasn't an accident, but the numbers are really very intense. “Not just for the people who have to deal with transgressive behavior, but for the entire music industry: sometimes people leave because of insecurity.”

The research shows that women, people with a migrant background and people aged 25 to 34 are most vulnerable to aggressive behaviour. Less than 10 percent of incidents are reported.

More than half of the participants believe that talking to colleagues can have a bad influence on their careers. “Many freelancers work in this sector, and the financial insecurity they experience makes them more vulnerable,” says Higgin. “They don't dare to speak out for fear of losing a job. Or they say they don't want to spoil the atmosphere by saying someone is doing something they don't like.”

Singer Simone Van Vogt and former singer-songwriter Rita Zipora talk about their experiences:

Tomorrow, the national campaign “You Set the Tone” will be launched, targeting the music sector. Several ambassadors will speak in favor of a safe and inclusive music sector during the Eurosonic Noorderslag music festival in Groningen, where the task force was launched a year ago.

One of them is Latin musician Moreno Alarcón Siegel, who himself has faced discrimination. “You're treated based on your colour. And you can't do anything about it, that's who you are. I often don't seek confrontation because you're afraid people will say 'look, he's confrontational, he's just that.' What I'm saying is.” But I'm done with it.”

According to Hagin, the informal working atmosphere and (sometimes invisible) power relations in the music industry are fertile ground for transgressive behaviour. “The behavior often occurs in an informal setting, such as at a party after a performance.”

Some participants say they froze or accepted this behavior out of fear, surprise, or helplessness. It was only later that they realized what had happened. Of the people who experienced inappropriate behavior, 11% resigned and 4% were fired.

More than 40 percent of participants with concrete experiences indicate that there was no one other than the perpetrator or themselves. “Sometimes people witness the incident, but they do not always intervene,” the researchers wrote. While the role of bystanders is of great importance to victims of inappropriate behavior, Hagin says. “They can engage with the perpetrator directly and indirectly, support the victim and contribute to setting a standard that transgressive behavior has no place in the music industry.”

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There is a website for reporting unwanted behavior in the Dutch cultural and creative sector More online. Organizations, bystanders and victims can go there for advice. “I think it's important to speak out,” says musician Alarcon Siegel. “And if you can't, or if you don't dare, try reporting it.”

But the study showed that nothing was done with 48% of the reports. “We want to investigate this further because it's very frustrating if something happens to you,” Hegen says.