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How This Female-Led Company are Rebranding the North East Night Out

Maria Winter and Sam Harris
March 2024
Reading time 5 Minutes

Marisam Events, a female-led events company, are aiming to reshape the North East's live music industry

Their safe travel campaign (Late 'n' Drive) will support women and gender minorities to safely travel to and from live events in the North East. Owners Maria Winter and Sam Harris tell Living North about their new partnership with ShoutUp!.

Marisam Events is on a mission to support, showcase and celebrate the creativity of local musicians and creatives within the region. Both Maria and Sam have extensive knowledge of the local creative sector, with Maria undertaking freelance music journalism work for NARC Magazine and Public Pressure, and Sam working as a music PR executive for Northside Creative. Also operating as independent musicians and songwriters, they both have an array of experience within the North East music sector, deciding to expand their operations into live events at the end of 2021.

Marisam Events provides innovative and interactive opportunities to re-invest into the local entertainment scene. With intimate knowledge of how difficult it is to sustain a profitable business within the creative industries, the two women are laser-focused on providing fair wages for artists, fair profits for all stakeholders and fair prices for event attendees.

ShoutUp! gives training to bars, pubs and clubs to help them understand how sexual harassment can show-up in the nighttime economy, how it impacts people, reputation and staff motivation, and gives them the confidence and skills they need to see it and stop it. ShoutUp! is delivered across the UK in partnership with Rape Crisis Centres and funders, such as the local council and Police and Crime Commissioners. ‘Since launching, ShoutUp! has made nights out significantly safer and vastly improved the reputation of various venues around the region and beyond,’ says Maria. ‘With around 50 venues certified in Newcastle, the organisation have since expanded their services to Northamptonshire and Torbay.’

Maria says their new partnership with ShoutUp! has been ‘a long time in the making’. ‘Much like any other built-up region, the North East’s (particularly Newcastle’s) bar/club/nightlife sector has a long-standing reputation for being a risky and rowdy landscape to navigate. As women we have intimate knowledge of how treacherous city nightlife can be, and now as business owners we want to ensure that our audience (particularly women and gender minorities) are entering safe and inclusive spaces with staff trained in ShoutUp! policies at all times. More specifically, our company ethos aligns quite perfectly with what ShoutUp! is trying (and succeeding) to achieve, which is helping to create an entertainment sector where audiences can rest assured that support systems are in place and entertainment can be enjoyed.

‘We have plans to continue working closely with ShoutUp! moving forward, becoming ambassadors for their work and using our events as a platform to promote their safe-guarding measures. Our overarching aim is to spread awareness of the ShoutUp! initiative, while cultivating a safe space hub for members of the public who wish to enjoy the variety of live music events that Marisam has to offer across the North East.’

The venues in which Marisam choose to hold our events are very important to them and they try to work with those that are ShoutUp! approved. ‘As a newly opened venue in Newcastle, The Grove is yet to gain this certification, so we wanted to initiate that vital training process through a launch at our special edition Late ‘n’ Live event [which took place on Saturday 2nd March],’ says Sam. The team celebrated this exciting announcement by inviting some members of the ShoutUp! team down to explain more about their work, and this was also launch of Marisam’s new safe travel campaign – Late ‘n’ Drive.

Late 'n' Live Band Late 'n' Live Band

Their new transport safety campaign, paired with the continual work from ShoutUp! hopes to significantly enhance the overall safety and experience of the North East’s events scene. ‘By initiating another important process of certification, The Grove can be added to the long list of local venues who stand for attendee safety, inclusivity and trust.’ Sam continues. ‘At Marisam, we don’t just simply host events, we ensure the wellbeing of attendees and musicians beyond the venue.’

Late ‘n’ Drive will include long-term partnerships with taxi firms and their female drivers to make audiences feel safer on their journey home. ‘By having female drivers stationed outside our events, attendees know they can rely on these,’ says Sam. ‘Not only does this benefit all involved with Marisam, it supports the drivers’ own transport business.

‘This initiative directly tackles a crucial aspect often overlooked in event planning: the journey to and from the event. By partnering with reliable transport services or implementing safety guidelines for commuters, Marisam Events is fostering a culture of safety and responsibility. Improving transport safety contributes to a more inclusive atmosphere, encouraging greater attendance from diverse demographics who might have safety concerns. Moreover, it sets a standard for other event organisers in the region to prioritise attendees’ safety holistically. In effect, this campaign sets a precedent for the entire North East events scene. By placing an emphasis on safe transportation, we are hoping to elevate the collective safety standards and redefine what it means to ensure a secure, enjoyable, and all-encompassing event experience.’

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