Tuska festival

Interview with Tuska's harassment contact person Tellervo Kraft

For the first time, Tuska will have a designated harassment contact person who will provide discussion help to festival guests, performers and festival staff and direct them to appropriate help or support, if needed. The harassment contact person Tellervo Kraft  is specialized in this subject and has long-term professional experience in social and health services. We collected a  list of questions, and sat Tellervo down to answer them.

What does the harassment contact person do?

In Tuska, the role of the harassment contact person is to provide impartial support to people who have experienced harassment or inappropriate behavior. During the festival, the harassment contact person will provide discussion help. If needed, the harassment contact person will also guide people towards appropriate support.

The conversations between the harassment contact person and person who has experienced harassment are always confidential. The person who has experienced harassment or inappropriate behavior will decide for themselves whether they want to take the matter forward. The reports are compiled into statistics by the festival, but without any identifying information or detailed content.

In addition to the work at the festival, the duties of the harassment contact person include planning, orientation, advisory and post-reporting work related to the festival, with the aim of improving event safety and promoting the event's social responsibility strategy.

How did you become a harassment contact person?

Long story short, I have always been surrounded by musicians and the music scene, and quite early on I wondered about things that sometimes happened or were witnessed. Later I realized that many of those situations actually were various forms of harassment or inappropriate behavior. They involved for example musicians and other performers, customers, and employees of the venues and bars. The situations may have caused traumatic experiences and other harm for the people who experienced inappropriate behavior or harassment – even long-term.

In addition, in my work at a psychiatric hospital I have faced and cared for patients and clients who have some background with harassment, discrimination and traumatic treatment that have affected their mental well-being. I later also became a sexual counselor, through which situations related to sexual harassment have opened up in a new way, and I felt that I wanted to be involved in promoting equality in these matters as well. As a harassment contact person this is possible, so here I am.

What has it been like to prepare for your job?

In the autumn 2021, I started with planning where I have utilized my education and experience in interpersonal work. My job includes co-operation with all the people in the Tuska team on a wide range of issues and especially with event safety personnel before the festival. The month before the festival is quite busy and requires going through issues related to event production overall of which I have no previous experience.

The aim is to create a permanent operating model for Tuska, which will make events even safer and more open to all festival guests, performers and employees, and that support the community and equality in general. Such a huge objective will certainly still require a lot of work, but I believe that the extremely good motivation of the organizers of Tuska Festival can make it possible. I believe that progress is being made as we speak.

What can I do if I see or experience harassment at the event?

There are plenty of event safety professionals at the festival, to whom inappropriate behaviour can be reported to.  You can also contact Tuska's harassment contact person (me), by email harassment@tuska.fi, by calling +358 46 898 9321 or using the Tuska app. The e-mail address, telephone number and application are available to festival guests on 1st July onwards. You can report harassment at any time of the day via email or the app, which you can also use to leave a callback request. You can reach me by phone during the festival opening hours and even after that on all weekdays in July between 11 am and 1 pm. You can reach me until the end of July also via email and the app. Feel free to contact me on a low threshold.

Our jurisdiction covers the festival area. If you see harmful behavior outside the area with Tuska connections, such as pre and after parties, please intervene or report onwards to authorities, if necessary. 

We encourage anyone who experience harassment or similar to come forward with their experiences. By shedding light to these matters, the change can begin.

How do I get in touch with you at the event?

During the Tuska weekend, I will be in the festival area throughout the festival’s opening hours. You can contact me by phone, as well as via e-mail, where you can also leave a call-back request or alternatively, just report the harassment. If there is a need for discussion help, I am here.

What is harassment?

Harassment and inappropriate behavior are fairly broad issues and each one of us experiences things differently. Past unpleasant experiences may also trigger very strong emotional reactions in potential harassment situations. In principle, any activity or misconduct that causes insecurity or is offensive (to the person who experiences it) is considered harassment. Respecting other people’s own space and the right to physical and mental integrity are the key. In intimate interactions or situations with another person, it is always advisable to secure the consent of the other party in order to avoid misunderstandings on both sides. Don't assume, but make sure!

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