De Veilige Nacht is a student initiative from four Leisure and Events Management students. They started a research project about nightlife and safety, and found out that 81% of the interviewees have experienced feelings of unsafety during the nightlife in Rotterdam. They thought about ways to improve the social safety and started creating a community and platform through hosting events and talks where safety is put central. To support this, they created a ‘New Testament’ with 10 commandments related to the nightlife that form the core of their activities:
Since this year, they also created the ‘Awareness Crew’ that can be hired by nightlife organizations in Rotterdam with the goal to increase the sense of safety. The crew is walking around the event, observing the crowd. Party people can approach them with their questions and concerns, or they will come to you if they see things are not going well. They de-escalate and guard the atmosphere of the event. The team consists of trained people who are driven and 100% committed to a safer event.
Next to parties and events, they also organize talks where they talk with guests from the nightlife or municipality to talk about nightlife and safety. With these talks, but also with their radio show’ de veilige nacht’, they want to promote awareness surrounding this topic: “We feel like this post corona party generation is a bit lost. Due to the pandemic, there is a group of people who are now 20, but are new in the clubscene. We feel like they have difficulty navigating these spaces and could use some guidance to enjoy the nightlife in a safe way. This situation, together with the increase of drugs usage among this group, can cause escalation and unsafe situations within the night life of Rotterdam. With De Veilige Nacht, we want to help increase safety within the night and party life of the city, something we missed ourselves when we were younger too”, says Jill.
“We’re very happy that we got the freedom within the programme to work on a project that is so close to our personal goals and interests. We receive guidance from teachers when we need, which has been very helpful in this whole process of building up a new organization. Also I’m very grateful to work with peer students on something that is so important to us all. The classes and workshops within the programme really helped to explore our talents, interests and connect with like minded people. In general, you get encourage a lot as a Leisure and Events Management student to learn by doing”, says Kai-Arne.
For the future, the team of De Veilige Nacht hopes to develop further and eventually grow into a recognized ‘hallmark’ for safety guarantee within nightlife events. “We want our commandments and awareness crew to be the new normal and hope it will be supported by the big event organizations within and outside of Rotterdam”, says Jara.