No joke! Comedy fundraiser raises €12.5K for DRCC & launches new group seeking safer comedy scene
06 May 2021
A live comedy gig featuring major Irish talents has raised over €12,500 for Dublin Rape Crisis Centre (DRCC) and marked the launch of Comedy Safety Standards, a new group campaigning for a safer and more inclusive comedy scene in Ireland.
‘The Big Laugh-In for DRCC’ featured online performances from Maeve Higgins, Jarlath Regan, Eleanor Tiernan, Gearóid Farrelly, Chris Kent, Colm O’Regan, Fred Cooke and Alison Spittle, as well as international guest Sikisa.
Comedy Safety Standards (CSS) is a group of comedians partnering with DRCC for support and to offer training for performers, agents and venue managers. The training, which will commence in the summer, will support their mission to raise awareness of the important issues faced by comedians and provide information and support to those involved in the comedy scene.
CSS spokesperson Eve Darcy said the group was formed out of a collective desire to make the Irish comedy scene a safer, more inclusive and welcoming workplace within which comedians can flourish. “The revelations that emerged in 2020 were the final straw for many of us. There was a strong shared sense that we had to do something to ensure no one else suffered abuse, harassment or assault when attempting to pursue their dream and progress their creativity. We are grateful to those who spoke out. Their courage has been a massive inspiration and driving force for us,” she explained.
Ms Darcy continued: “In reality, we are not asking for much. We simply want to be able to work on our craft as comedians in a safe, respectful and inclusive environment where harassment and assault of any kind, but particularly of a sexual nature is not tolerated or allowed to persist as it has.”
While CSS are currently focused on the presenting issue of sexual assault & harassment, there is a collective vision and desire to work more broadly on issues of inequality so that everyone, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation and access-ability can pursue a career in comedy.
“We are extremely grateful to DRCC for their kindness, help and support. We are also so grateful to the very generous audience who helped us raise €12.5k for the amazing work DRCC do,” said Ms Darcy.
DRCC’s Chief Executive Noeline Blackwell said: “We value our collaboration with Comedy Safety Standards very highly. We truly appreciate their generosity with time and talent in putting on this brilliant fundraiser for our work. And we also admire and support their positive, active approach to remedying the systemic and individual faults in their chosen industry which result in people suffering assault, harassment and harm. Like us, they are convinced that we can end sexual harassment and assault and we are committed to working with them for that.”
All the money from ticket sales have gone directly to the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre, which provides vital services to those impacted by sexual violence as well as working to prevent sexual violence through education and training, policy & advocacy work and campaigns.
Notes for Editors:
The Big Laugh-In for DRCC took place Friday 23 April 2021. Donations can be made online until 23 May at www.idonate.ie/comedy.
About Comedy Safety Standards: Comedy Safety Standards is a new, performer-led organisation campaigning to create a safer and more inclusive comedy scene in Ireland. They work to provide training for clubs and promoters, raise awareness of the challenges comics face, and give advice to new and existing performers. Their aim is to make comedy a safe and welcoming place for everyone. Follow them on all platforms at @comedysafety and check out their website at www.comedysafetystandards.com
About Dublin Rape Crisis Centre: Dublin Rape Crisis Centre is a non-governmental, voluntary organisation which has as its mission to prevent the harm and heal the trauma of sexual violence. It offers a suite of services to victims/survivors of rape, sexual assault and sexual abuse. DRCC runs the National 24-hour Helpline 1800 778888 for those who need support in any part of the country, with no reduction in service during COVID restrictions. Visit www.drcc.ie for more.