Incidents of sexual harassment, assault high at music festivals, new survey reveals

Chicago Tribune

March 29, 2018

By Jessi Roti

More than 90 percent of female concertgoers surveyed by OurMusicMyBody experienced being harassed, the campaign said Monday.

Launched in 2016 as a joint effort between nonprofit organizations Between Friends and Rape Victim Advocates, the OurMusicMyBody campaign aims to promote “fun and consensual music experiences for all” through anti-harassment policies and guidelines at music venues and festivals across Chicago.

After recognizing that festivals and venues did not have procedures in place to address issues of harassment and assault, or coordination and education between security and support teams (like medical, for example) about the next steps to take if these issues arise, the campaign became necessary — as echoed by Riot Fest creative director Jeremy Scheuch when he was asked why the festival partnered with OurMusicMyBody.

In 2017, OurMusicMyBody was responsible for the implementation of anti-harassment guidelines and policies at the city’s three major music fests, Pitchfork, Lollapalooza and Riot Fest, as well as more locally focused events Ruido Fest and Green Music Fest. The campaign also partnered with various venues such as Lincoln Hall, Schubas, Subterranean and Beat Kitchen to provide information at concerts hosted year-round.

More than 500 respondents answered questions about harassment in the online survey taken between November and December 11, 2017. The survey was broken down by gender: 379 females, 84 males and 57 nonbinary people. Harassment was defined as spoken violence and aggression to physical assault — including being drugged or being coerced into drinking.

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