Whether attending a performance at a large stadium, outdoor music festival, or small nightclub, concert goers have a right to feel safe and secure inside the venue and on the property grounds. Concert facilities present inherent security challenges, given frequently low-levels of lighting, loud music, and (often) impaired guests. Disturbingly, many facilities do not have procedures in place to respond to incidents of sexual assault and harassment.
Our Music My Body, a Chicago-based advocacy campaign, promotes “fun and consensual music experiences for all.” The campaign recently surveyed over 500 concert goers on experiences of harassment at music venues. The Chicago Tribune released the findings in March 2018:
“For the 92 percent of females who said they had been harassed in music spaces, the incidents included experiences of spoken harassment, groping, sexual gestures, stalking, being yelled at and being photographed or videoed without permission. Thirty-one percent of male fans experienced both physical and nonphysical harassment, according to the survey, and 60 percent of transgender attendees reported physical homophobic or transphobic violence.”
When asked what security measures they would like to see implemented in the future, “99 percent of the respondents would feel more comfortable if venues had increased security, with 84 percent preferring that staff and security be trained in violence prevention and crisis intervention. Seventy-five percent of respondents want venues and festivals to increase signage that clarifies anti-harassment policies, and 62 percent hope venues create a designated safe space for those being harassed to go and still be able to enjoy the show.”
Victims of Music Venue Violence: Know Your Rights
Concert goers have a right to be safe and secure while on the premises of the establishment that they are visiting. By law, concert facility owners have a duty to protect guests from any foreseeable harm.
Music venues are encouraged to implement property security precautions and preventative measures to protect guests and reduce property violence, sexual assault, injuries and deaths. Security measures may include, metal detectors, bag checks, clear bag requirements, bright lighting in parking lots, bathroom attendants, monitored surveillance cameras, indoor and outdoor security staff, clearly marked exits, and emergency response training for all staff.
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