One of the world’s most popular music festivals has announced new initiatives designed to protect party goers from sexual harassment.
The Los Angeles Times reports that the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival that gets underway next week in California has launched the “Every One” program, after complaints of alleged rampant sexual misconduct during the event last year.
In a statement on the festival’s website, organisers said:
“We are pushing ourselves and our guests to do better and to be better. We are taking deliberate steps to develop a festival culture that is safe and inclusive for everyone. Persons of any gender identity or expression, sex, sexual orientation, race, religion, age or ability are welcome at Coachella.”
How the program will work
According to organisers, during this year’s festival, Every One will employ a team of “Trained Safety Ambassadors” throughout the festival grounds to “facilitate access to care services for anyone in distress.”
Those services include tents “staffed with trained counsellors for anyone that needs extra support or a quiet moment away.”
The initiative explicitly states that “any form of assault or harassment, be it sexual, physical or verbal” is forbidden and violations may result in the offender being expelled from festival grounds without a refund and possible referral to law enforcement.
Groped 22 times
Teen Vogue published a wide ranging report alleging sexual misconduct at last year’s festival with a number of women telling stories of being catcalled, groped, and grabbed without their consent while attending the Coachella festival.
“I only spent a total of 10 hours at the actual festival, where I watched numerous performances and interviewed festival goers about their experience with sexual assault and harassment for Teen Vogue,” Vera Papisova wrote.
“During the 10 hours I was reporting on this story, I was groped 22 times.”
No excuse for sexual harassment
Industrial relations advocate James Vercoe from Sexual Harassment Claims said there is no excuse for sexual harassment anywhere, including music festivals.
“Unfortunately some creeps think it’s okay to take advantage of a situation where thousands of people are crammed into one place dancing and gyrating, by deliberately touching someone else without their consent,” he said.
“If they’re full of booze and party drugs, many probably don’t even realise that there’s anything wrong with their behaviour, but they absolutely should.
“I welcome this initiative from Coachella organisers to try and do something to stamp out this sort of disgusting and unlawful conduct.”
Coachella 2019 starts next weekend.
James Vercoe is one of our specialist team at Sexual Harassment Claims who can assist people who have been subjected to sexual harassment or sex discrimination.
If you have experienced sexual harassment or sex discrimination, you may be entitled to compensation.
For help and advice, please call our specialist team at Sexual Harassment Claims on
1300 463 866
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