Festival season is upon us and whether your music tastes are more in line with Coachella or Stagecoach — we should all be able to agree that these events should be a safe space. However, that’s far from the reality for many attendees.
“This guy walked past me. (He) touched my lower back and butt area really fast. Those little instances, you almost question yourself because you know it isn’t OK, but it was so small, you feel like you can’t say anything about it.” – Rosie Makinen, 21
“I think that’s what the problem is. It has become normalized and guys think it’s fine if they do it, and it is just unacceptable.”
Of the 323 women surveyed who attended either Coachella or Stagecoach, approximately 15 percent experienced sexual harassment. That number includes those who received “unwanted groping or touching,” like in Makinen’s case.
This year, Goldenvoice introduced a new anti-harassment/anti-assault policy to help promote a safer experience for festival goers. However, most of these women affected didn’t hear of the policy and didn’t realize there were safe spaces for victims to go to deal with such distress.
Often times at music festivals, we’re in close quarters with others in the crowd. It’s important to be aware of our surroundings and respectful of each other’s personal space. Change starts with us as individuals — but as a community, we can do better.