Monday August 08, 2016

Sexual assault at music festivals: safety goes beyond more security

Journalist Kate Lloyd and Kira-Lynn Ferderber of Project Soundcheck on how to create a culture of safety at bustling music festivals.

Journalist Kate Lloyd and Kira-Lynn Ferderber of Project Soundcheck on how to create a culture of safety at bustling music festivals. (Eva Rinaldi/FlickrCC)

Listen 15:28

A recent string of sexual assaults at music festivals has once again raised the question: how can we make concert-going safe for everyone? 

Guest host Jelena Adzic checks in with two people working on the problem:

  • Journalist Kate Lloyd, who has written extensively on the international problem of sexual assault and rape at music festivals. She says the reaction to an investigative piece she wrote last year was troubling.

    ​"Festivals were scared to admit they were the problem. It seemed like when an incident happened, it was seen as more of a PR disaster than a reason to change their policies," says Lloyd, adding that organizers often opt to "contain the problem" rather than find ways to protect other festival goers. 
     
  • Kira-Lynn Ferderber of Project Soundcheck, which focuses on training volunteers to intervene in often-nuanced situations, and on combating bystander apathy more generally. 

    "We're asking everyone else that's in a crowd — that's not immediately about to commit sexual violence and not immediately in danger of being a victim of sexual violence — to step in and do something if they see something wrong."