A recent YouGov report found that one in five festivalgoers – and more than two in five of those who are female and under 40 – say they have been sexually assaulted or harassed at a UK festival.
30% of female festivalgoers of all ages and 43% of those under 40 said they had faced some kind of unwanted sexual behaviour, the most common being “unwelcome and forceful dancing”.
When asked about the report, Paul Reed, the chief executive of the Association of Independent Festivals spoke of the importance of people being active bystanders: “If people don’t intervene, then this behaviour becomes normalised,” he said. “People shouldn’t feel that they need to tolerate [at festivals] the type of behaviour that they wouldn’t tolerate in the street.”
In response to longstanding concerns about sexual assault at British music festivals, White Ribbon UK started the Safer Music and Venues campaign. Music venues and festivals across the UK have taken the lead on making festivals safer by bringing their policies in line with our campaign, and ensuring there is a safe way for people to report harassment and abuse.
White Ribbon UK Safer Music and Venues project coordinator, Tony Saunders said, "We've known for a long time that many festivals have issues with safety and abuse - that's why we started the music campaign. These figures, while shocking, are sadly not a surprise to many. We hope that it will encourage more festivals to take the stand, and accredit and adopt our policies".