The Smoke operates on an essential basis of mutual respect. We require that all participants agree to comply with the code of conduct described here. We are absolutely focused on being welcoming, safe and comfortable for all participants. We will act against any breach of this code, with measures ranging from a verbal warning to removal from the festival.
Any kind of harassment, intimidation, bullying, disruptivity, stalking, or non-consensual interactions in general will be considered in breach of our code of conduct.
The physical and emotional safety of all participants at The Smoke is a key concern of ours, and we’ve put a number of measures in place to help secure it.
- We operate a flagging system whereby prospective attenders can draw our attention to safety concerns that they have about other prospective attenders. We will not hesitate to exclude people on this basis.
- We have a Safety Team, based at a table in the communal space and recognizable by their green sashes, who will be accessible at all times. Participants should not hesitate to come to them with any safety concerns.
- We have a confidential email address firstname.lastname@example.org which will be monitored before and after the festival. You can use this to report any non- urgent safety concern.
- We have a confidential phone 07375 683261, or +44 7375 683261 if you’re on a non-UK phone, which will be carried by a member of the Safety Team at all times.
We do, though, recognize that safety policies are of no use without a safety culture – and that has to come from you, the participants. We ask you to wholeheartedly buy into and support the safety philosophy that we’ve outlined here.
The Smoke is dedicated to inclusion of all people, regardless of gender, ethnicity, age, sexuality, religion or belief, body shape, neurotype, or any other characteristic.
Each participant at The Smoke will have their preferred pronouns written on their name badge. We ask that you check and use these pronouns to refer to that person at all times. If you don’t know someone’s preferred pronouns, then the default is ‘they/them/their’.
All participants also have badges available that they can wear to indicate how they currently feel about being approached in conversation. (This system is borrowed from the Nine Worlds convention.) They operate as follows:
- Blue: “I would like to talk to new people but find it difficult to initiate conversation. Please say hello!”
- Yellow: “I only want to talk to people I know right now. If we’ve met before, it’s okay to talk to me.”
- Red: “I’d prefer not to talk with anyone right now. If I start a conversation with you, it’s okay to talk to me.”
Please respect the badges, and engage with those wearing them on their preferred terms.
If you have a disability or a medical or other condition that makes access to the festival spaces difficult, or that may cause any other kind of hindrance to your particpation in the festival, talk to us and we will take whatever measures we can to make sure that you are fully included.
To help make The Smoke more welcoming and open, there are a number of things that we encourage you to do:
- The empty chair – keep an empty chair in any group discussion, so people can join without feeling awkward. If you take up the empty chair, bring another.
- Friendly spirit – approach the festival, and any interaction within it, with the intention of becoming better friends with those involved.
- English – all our larps will be run in English. We also encourage you to speak English at the convention generally. This is, along with the empty chair principle, to facilitate others joining your conversation.
- Include new people – when someone joins a discussion, bring them up to speed on the topic.
- Be understanding – there will be participants from different countries and from different larp traditions, who may use terms differently to you. Assume the best intention, rather than assuming disagreement or judgement.
- Allow space in conversations – for all who might wish to speak. Don’t dominate, or interrupt.
- And generally, be kind.