I love live comedy, particularly stand-up comedy. So one of the coolest things about living in Melbourne is the annual Melbourne International Comedy Festival (MICF).
However, for various reasons, Nadia and I don’t attend too many MICF shows. The ones we do attend, then, we’re very picky about.
Basically: we don’t want to watch performances by bigots, racists, misogynists, assholes, and so on. You’d think that in 2019 you’d be hard pressed to find people who make those kinds of jokes on stage. But, of course, you’d be wrong.
One of the best ways to avoid attending a show at MICF that’ll make you feel uncomfortable or unsafe is by checking Lisa-Sky’s Safety House Guide.
Here’s what she has to say about this on her Safety House Guide 2019 Pozible page:
In 2017, I noticed a theme among people who came to my shows - they'd tell me they loved seeing my shows every year at festivals, but didn't want to 'risk' going to other shows, for fear of being the punchline of jokes. They weren't just scared of hearing tired old material bashing who they are (fat jokes, sexworker jokes, racist jokes...) but a few of them were hesitant about audience participation, even when the artist had the best intentions.
And I thought, stuff that - everyone should feel safe to enjoy seeing live performance.
My favourite thing is showing cool stuff to cool people, and promoting good work from performers with an ethos based in kindness and diversity. So at last year's Melbourne International Comedy Festival, I created the first Safety House Guide.
Nadia and I have already bought tickets for a few MICF shows this year (including Judith Lucy and Hannah Gadsby - yay!) but we’re not going to get any more without consulting that guide first.
If you’re someone who’ll want to use this guide – or even if you’re not, but your recognise how valuable a resource it might be to others – please consider providing financial support to it via Pozible. Nadia and I have already pledged to do so. Lisa-Skye is going to produce this guide regardless, so let’s help her our as much as we can.