New study exposes the culture of rampant sexual harassment at music festivals

The study found that 1 in 5 festivalgoers encountered some form of unwanted sexual behaviour.

Photo by Hanny Naibaho
June 18, 2018

A recent study published by the Press Association has found that the festival experience isn’t all just headliners and overpriced drinks for British concertgoers – it also includes an alarming amount of sexual harassment.

The study found that one in five festivalgoers encountered some form of unwanted sexual behaviour as a part of their experience – but, disturbingly, these numbers were even higher for women at 30%, and rising all the way to nearly half for women under 40 at 43%.

Though the most common forms these unwanted experiences took were unwelcome dancing and verbal harassment of a sexual nature, the figures for sexual assault were still far higher than they should be, with 11% of women claiming to have been sexually assaulted while conscious and 4% of women having experienced sexual assault when unconscious. Men also experienced both conscious and unconscious sexual assault, though with lower rates at 3% and 2%, respectively.

The shocking revelations of this study comes in part from the fact that this is surprisingly the first survey of its kind of try and put numbers beside the unfortunately large amount of anecdotal evidence already surrounding this topic. This study is the first step to these incidents being taken more seriously by festival organizers, with Tracey Wise, advocate of campaign group Safe Gigs for Women claiming that these results “will be massively helpful, because at the moment I don’t think festival organisers do enough.”

The full conclusions and details of the study can be observed below:

Exclusive videos, interviews, contests & more.

sign up for the a.side newsletter

sign up