Sexual Assault Reports: AIF Advises Caution

The  UK’s Association of Independent Festivals has criticized “poorly researched” articles “engaging in scaremongering” regarding reports of sexual assaults at major summer music festivals.

Photo: Joel Ryan/Invision/AP
Performing at the Wireless Festival in north London.

One of AIF’s member festivals, The Secret Garden Party, released a statement, claiming, “we don’t have a problem with considered and well-researched articles as this is an important issue, but there are some journalists and bloggers who have published articles recently filled with inaccuracies and false claims.

“This hurts, particularly when we are striving to deal with this issue to the best of our ability. The care of our attendees is always our first priority. Festivals are generally a safe and friendly environment and there needs to be some sense of proportion based on facts, so here is some clarification from our perspective.”

Organizers of the festival, which had a rape reported to police in 2015, emphasize that poorly researched articles “risk actively endangering our audience by convincing them we don’t care, that there is no point approaching us with their concerns and by portraying festivals as a place where people can expect to get away with this kind of behavior.”

They say promoters are working closely with police at all times to solve any crime that takes place on site as quickly as possible.