Towards a safer festival culture: Worry Chair by MIELI Mental Health Finland at Ruisrock

At next summer’s Ruisrock, festivalgoers will have the opportunity to receive immediate emotional support thanks to MIELI Mental Health Finland’s Worry Chair concept. In addition to the Worry Chair, the Ruisrock festival etiquette, a mobile emotional support group and a harassment contact person will be contributing to a safe festival environment.

This year’s Ruisrock will take concrete action to support mental well-being. This summer’s festival will see the MIELI Mental Health Finland’s Worry Chair concept, which will be brought into the festival environment for the first time. It is a low-threshold space offering emotional support for different situations that festivalgoers may encounter.

“Such situations can include, for example, getting separated from your group of friends, experiencing loneliness in a crowd, disagreements with friends or the need to take a moment to calm down. You can come and talk in any situation. No one is alone, help is available,” explains Sanna Vesikansa, Director of Crisis Services at MIELI Mental Health Finland.

Actions for a safe space

MIELI Mental Health Finland’s professionals and trained volunteers will also offer counselling to the festival’s performers, volunteers and staff. In addition, they will walk around the festival area as part of a mobile team offering support. The team consists of volunteers, a first-aid officer and a security steward and aims to provide a wide range of support in the festival area, regardless of location.

Ruisrock also offers special support in case of harassment. Assistance is provided by a harassment contact person, who can be easily contacted by telephone or by filing an anonymous report. Ruisrock encourages low-threshold reporting of harassment, and the festival is committed to addressing incidents immediately.

Changing festival culture

In addition to support services, Ruisrock has a festival etiquette that establishes a common set of rules for all participants. The aim is to ensure a safe festival where everyone has the freedom to be themselves. Good festival behaviour is mindful of fellow festivalgoers and respects equality and bodily autonomy.

“With these concrete actions, Ruisrock wants to be part of a more sustainable future. Our actions are part of our sustainability programme, of which social sustainability and the well-being of our guests is an important part. On a larger scale, our aim is to make Finnish festival culture even safer and more inclusive,” says Ruisrock promoter Mikko Niemelä.

Ruisrock will be celebrated on 8-10 July 2022 in Ruissalo, Turku. The full programme of the festival has been announced. Tickets for the festival are on sale at Tiketti, and some ticket types are fully sold out or reserved.