With summer quickly approaching, people across the country are gearing up for the music festival season. For many, that means making travel plans, buying supplies, and assembling a weekend's worth of Instagram-worthy outfits. Unfortunately, for women, that also means preparing for unwanted sexual advances.
In a recent Teen Vogue report
, journalist Vera Papisova interviewed 54 women at Coachella about their experiences with sexual misconduct during the music festival - and the results are frightening. All 54 women she interviewed had been sexually harassed or assaulted just that weekend.
Women reported having their buttocks grabbed, men trying to kiss them, being physically picked up, and being called names when they rejected unwanted verbal advances. During the 10 hours she was reporting at Coachella, Papisova herself was groped 22 times. But the problem isn't exclusive to Coachella. According to a survey conducted by OurMusicMyBody, 90% of female concert-goers have been harassed while attending a concert. Not to mention countless reports of sexual assaults at festivals around the world. Many festivals are aware of the problem, and are trying to change the culture at these events.
For example, in 2017, Pitchfork, Lollapalooza and Riot Fest - three major music festivals in Chicago - each implemented anti-harassment policies in response to growing awareness of sexual abuse at concerts. They each have website pages dedicated to harassment and will have booths where people can go if they need help or want to learn more during the festival.But there are still plenty of music festivals that ignore the problem of sexual abuse.
The Governor's Ball in New York and Outside Lands in San Francisco are two major music festivals that have not outlined any guidelines or policies on sexual harassment or announced plans for how they will address the problem at this year's festivals.The culture at music festivals has to change. From coast to coast, music festivals must ensure that they are safe spaces for all and that people know how to get help if they need it.Please sign this petition demanding that organizers of Outside Lands and the Governor's Ball sign the OurMusicMyBody pledge to create a zero tolerance policy for sexual harassment and assault and create a plan based on this toolkit to address the problem.
Photo credit: Eva Rinaldi / Flickr