Care2 Petition Demands an End to Sexual Harassment at Music Festivals

A Care2 petition with over 33,000 signatures at the time of writing demands that music festivals take a stand against sexual harassment and assault.

With music festival season underway, women attending the festivals also have to prepare themselves to prevent unwanted sexual advances. But the onus should be on the festivals, not women, to make sure their events are safe for everyone.

It’s time for a change in music festival culture which is long overdue.

The petition cites a Teen Vogue report by journalist Vera Papisova. Over the course of three days, Papisova attended Coachella for a total of ten hours. She took naps in the sun, danced, had her life changed by Beychella, and interviewed festival-goers about their experiences with sexual assault and harassment.

She was also groped 22 times. In ten hours.

Papisova spoke to 54 women about their experiences at the festival, and every single one had a story of sexual assault or harassment that had occurred during their time at Coachella.

“Of course sexual harassment happens here,” Ana, 19, told Teen Vogue. “It happens to us at all concerts. At Coachella it is so many people that men will get away with touching you, and they think we don’t notice. It happened to me many times already, and I notice every time.”

Another woman, June, estimated that she’d been touched inappropriately approximately 40 times in three days.

“I think they think that since we wear what we want to wear, they are entitled to touch us,” said Aaliyah, 21. They may think that, but they are wrong. No one is ever entitled to touch anyone, no matter what they are wearing. This shouldn’t need repeating any more.”

One 16-year-old attendee explained that it’s hard to stand up for yourself against harassment, especially against bigger men, because “they might get angry and violent. Like if you’re not nice, they might hurt you.”

The problem is not any specific music festival; it’s universal. And international. The petition notes that 90 percent of female attendees have experienced harassment at a concert. It’s hard to imagine this amount of harassment at another kind of event, which further suggests there’s something music festivals can be doing differently to protect concert-goers.

This isn’t a new problem. In 2015, a photo went viral of a man at Coachella wearing a shirt which read “Eat, Sleep, Rape, Repeat,” summarizing the problem of rape culture at music festivals in as few words as possible.

Zero Tolerance for Sexual Harassment at Music Festivals

One Swedish music festival, fed up with reports of sexual assaults at other music festivals, banned men from attending “until all men learn how to behave themselves.”

That’s one solution, but there are others. According to the petition, last year three major music festivals all implemented anti-harassment policies and dedicated booths where people can go during the festival if they need help. Some festivals have created pages on their websites devoted to safety.

Other festivals, though–like Coachella, Outside Lands, and the Governor’s Ball–have not taken steps to address sexual harassment and assault at their events.

Remember: Telling women to just stay home is not a solution. The world belongs to us just as much as it does men. Instead of blaming the victims, demand change so that women can take up their space in the world without fear of sexual violence.

Ask the organizers of these festivals to create a zero tolerance policy for harassment and create a plan to address it when it does happen.

And if, like Austin Dean and Michael Eisele, you want to make a difference on an issue you find deeply troubling, you too can create a Care2 petition, and use this handy guide to get started. You’ll find Care2’s vibrant community of activists ready to step up and help you.

 

Photo Credit: Marvin Meyer

49 comments

Shirley S
Shirley S8 days ago

Ban the BOOZE at concerts

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Ruth R
Ruth R9 days ago

Please, Ban the concerts. This is too hard on people. This is not working until people find a way to make this work.

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Ruth R
Ruth R9 days ago

Honestly, you could let the women go to the concert one day, and the men go to the concert another day since the situation is that bad. ALSO, CONSIDER BANNING THE CONCERTS -- ALL OF THEM -- UNTIL THERE IS A BETTER WAY. This is not working to have men and women at these concerts at this time. I signed and sorry I signed.

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Tania N
Tania N9 days ago

thank you for posting

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Tania N
Tania N9 days ago

thank you for posting

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Tania N
Tania N9 days ago

thank you for posting

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Tania N
Tania N9 days ago

thank you for posting

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Barbara M
Barbara M9 days ago

Signed. Thank you

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Nicole Heindryckx

Just read and commented on the other article. Many good advices there to protect someone else,and yourself.
It's self evident that young girls have NOT to stay at home, because there is a chance to get sexually assaulted at a festival, and it certainly is NOT pleasant when you are grabbed once or twice each evening. However, DO NOT underestimate the dangers when you are LEAVING the festival. Best of all not to leave on your own, but together with friends, or just stay in a close neighborhood of another group of mingled people. A drunken / drugged man who has been staring at you, or even grabbed you during the festival does not loose his appetite when he leaves the festival. I fear there is a big chance he will try to follow you and his next step will not be limited to grabbing only !! And certainly try NOT to show your fear. This excites them even more and makes them more brutal. It is sad that an evening of pleasure, dancing, singing and enjoying yourself easily can turn out to be the worst evening of your life. As a girl, I would take some secret weapons with me (little deo sprays, or make something yourself such as a mix of water with salt and vinegar) My daughter was always "weapened" when she went to festivals, AND she always went with 1 or 2 girlfriends.

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DAVID fleming
DAVID fleming10 days ago

Signed

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