Laneway festival organisers will have an 0800 hotline in action next weekend offering help to any gig goers who have concerns for their safety or to report inappropriate behaviour.

Anyone who feels unsafe during next Monday's event at Albert Park will be able to call the hotline - 0800-LANEWAY - to report any concerns.

It's the second year the hotline has been up and running at the music event.

A St Jerome's Laneway spokesperson said keeping punters safe and secure was a key focus for the festival. The hotline was one tool in ensuring this happened.

Advertisement

A "steady amount" of calls rolled in to the hotline last year, they said, mostly for minor incidents like people looking for the medical tent.

A handful of calls related to patron safety.

The Laneway staffer operating the helpline had direct access to police, security and ambulance staff when taking the calls, the spokesperson said.

"There is a trained operator at the other end who either directs a person on where to go to get help or instructs them to stay where they are and then directs security or medical teams to where they are."

The line launched last year - just weeks after a woman was groped at Gisborne music festival Rhythm and Vines while walking around with glitter art painted on her breasts.

0800 LANEWAY

For the second year in a row, we’re proud to bring back 0800-LANEWAY, a help-line created for festival goers to call or text if you witness or experience unsafe and unwelcome behaviour while enjoying the festival. The hotline was inspired by CAMP COPE’s ‘It Takes One’ campaign, raising awareness around harassment at gigs and festivals. At any-time during the event, just call 0800-LANEWAY (0800-5263-929) for assistance. Local text lines will be updated on our website and sign-posted at the event. Find out more here: http://bit.ly/2CnvwCp

Posted by Laneway Festival NZ on Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Madeline Anello-Kitzmiller made headlines during the music festival when video emerged of her hitting a man who sneaked up behind her and grabbed her breast.

The incident caused an outpouring of public support for Anello-Kitzmiller online and in news articles, as well as debate over her choice of attire.

In 2016, Kim Vinnell was reporting live from Laneway's old home at Silo Park for Three when she was interrupted by a pair of music fans.

Advertisement

One used an expletive-laden phrase and the segment was cut short.

Vinnell later tracked the pair down, only for them to say: "Next time have a male presenter because s*** like that gets pretty hectic."

In response, Laneway introduced a women-only area at the 2017 festival.

Inspector David Kirby, manager of child protection and adult sexual assault, said police always had a presence at events like Laneway or Rhythm and Vines.

Events like these could be a target for predators, Kirby said.

Attendees were encouraged to look out for one another, and intervene if they saw anyone receiving unwanted attention.

"Predatory people look for potential victims who have been excessively drinking because they're vulnerable and their decision-making can be impaired," Kirby said.

Kirby said it was difficult to say how many incidents of sexual assault occurred at music festivals, as very few were reported to police.

British indie rock outfit Florence and the Machine is headlining the event at Auckland's Albert Park next weekend. Photo / AP
British indie rock outfit Florence and the Machine is headlining the event at Auckland's Albert Park next weekend. Photo / AP

"We would encourage anyone who has been a victim of sexual assault to contact us - we take all complaints of this nature seriously."

Kyle Bell, marketing director for Gisborne festival Rhythm and Vines said a similar helpline set up for this summer's event had been a success.

Anyone who felt unsafe was encouraged to text their location to 3001.

Bell said security staff were sent to the location to assist.

"We were able to deal with any moderate/potentially serious issues quickly, as well as manage some curly customer service questions - such as a spider in a portaloo and a nipple stuck in a grapevine."

The text helpline was monitored from the festival's command centre - which was linked to security, police and medical teams.

More than 900 issues were dealt with over the duration of the festival. Four were classified as being urgent and 100 more were classified as being high priority.

The helpline was started up as part of the festival's mission to "be the safest place in the world to celebrate New Years".

"Investing in technology that helps with this makes sense," Bell said.