Concert and Festival Sexual Assault Lawyer

Last updated Dec 11, 2023

While music festivals and concerts are intended to make you feel excited to see your favorite artists perform live and feel connected with a like-minded crowd, they also may create an atmosphere where sexual assaults are more likely to occur due to overcrowding and limited security. A knowledgeable sexual assault lawyer can help you if you or a loved one was assaulted at a concert or festival.

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Key Takeaways

  • Music festivals and concerts have unfortunately enabled an environment of sexual harassment and sexual assault
  • Survivors of music festival sexual assault may have the right to pursue compensation for the harm they suffered
  • A sexual assault lawyer can help fight for justice on behalf of survivors

Representing Survivors of Concert and Festival Sexual Assault

Concerts and music festivals are supposed to be enjoyable events for music lovers. Unfortunately, sexual violence has become a common occurrence at concerts and festivals. It is disheartening to note that sexual assault is widespread in such events despite many concert and music festival organizers like Coachella and Stagecoach rolling out measures to make them safe. This is why it is important to know your rights and understand what to do if you or someone you know is sexually assaulted at a concert or festival.

Sexual violence in any form can be a difficult experience for the survivor. If you were sexually assaulted at a music festival or concert, remember that you have legal options. Contact a concert and festival sexual assault lawyer at Edwards Henderson today to learn more during a free legal case review.

What is Concert or Music Festival Sexual Assault?

Sexual assault at concerts and music festivals includes any type of sexual contact or interaction made without the mutual consent of the parties involved, from unwanted groping to rape. Attendees can be groped at a concert while near the bathrooms, while watching a performance from the audience, or in the VIP areas. In other instances, they may be assaulted while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. A sexual assault can leave the survivor feeling violated and experiencing physical and emotional trauma, fear, disgust, anxiety, confusion, shame, guilt, and depression.

While music festivals and concerts are intended to make attendees feel excited to see their favorite artists perform and feel connected with a like-minded crowd, they often create an atmosphere where sexual assaults are more likely to occur due to overcrowding and limited security. Common types of sexual assault at music festivals include:

  • Unwanted groping, touching, or kissing
  • Any unwanted sexual contact
  • Being forced to perform or receive oral sex
  • Drug-facilitated rape
  • Any form of sexual activity with a minor
  • Rape or acquaintance rape
  • Any sexual activity that took place without your consent, including while sleeping in a camp or when you were intoxicated, passed out, or otherwise incapacitated and unable to consent

What is Drug-Facilitated Sexual Assault at Concerts and Festivals?

Drug-facilitated sexual assault involves the use of drugs to impair a person’s ability to consent. At concerts and festivals, this type of assault is particularly dangerous because large crowds can create an atmosphere of chaos and increase susceptibility to drug abuse. Often, the perpetrator will slip a drug into someone’s drink, causing them to become disoriented, confused, and incapacitated. Drug-facilitated sexual assault can have devastating consequences for the survivor, leaving them with feelings of shame, anger, and confusion in addition to the physical and emotional trauma of the assault.

What Should I Do if I Was Sexually Assaulted at a Festival?

If you were sexually assaulted at a music concert or festival, there are some steps you can take to ensure your safety and protect your legal rights:

  • Find safety: The most important and urgent thing is to find safety. You should leave the event as soon as possible, preferably with someone you trust. You may also seek out the festival staff and/or police for help.
  • Seek medical attention: Once you are in a safe place, the next step is to get medical attention. Medical care can provide both physical and psychological support to survivors of sexual assault. It is important to get checked out right away as there may be evidence, such as in the form of rape kits, that can help with a potential criminal investigation or civil lawsuit. You may also speak to a trauma counselor who can help you process what happened and how to deal with the trauma following the sexual assault.
  • Focus on healing: The healing process can be long and arduous, which makes it crucial for you to focus on your emotional needs and well-being. Consider reaching out to a therapist or counselor who specializes in sexual assault trauma. Several organizations offer free resources and support to survivors of sexual assault, including online support groups. It also helps to spend time with the people you love and trust, who can comfort and support you as you process what took place.
  • Contemplate legal options: You may also want to consider legal recourse and file a criminal complaint. This can help ensure the predator is held accountable for their actions.
  • File a sexual assault lawsuit: Another option to consider in addition to pursuing criminal charges is filing a sexual assault lawsuit against the perpetrator and the event organizer. Unlike in criminal court, by pursuing justice in civil court survivors can be compensated for the harm they suffered. A knowledgeable sexual assault lawyer can help you navigate the process of filing a civil lawsuit and pursuing compensation for damages such as pain and suffering, medical bills, and more.

Understanding Rape Culture at Concerts

Rape culture is defined as a set of attitudes and beliefs that normalize and excuse sexual violence. It permeates all aspects of our society and can be seen in many forms in concerts and music festivals. Some attendees may take advantage of the general atmosphere and the abundance of drugs and alcohol to force or manipulate others to engage in sexual activities.

Due to the prevalence of rape culture, it is the survivors who often get blamed for being attacked by perpetrators. Victim-blaming statements such as “she was asking for it” or “they should have known better” blame the survivor instead of holding the sexual offender accountable for their actions. This type of attitude silences survivors and prevents them from speaking out about their experiences.

It is important to remember that no matter what you were wearing, how much you had to drink, or who you were with, sexual assault is never your fault. Concerts and music festivals should be places where everyone feels safe and respected. Bodily autonomy is a basic human right, and all individuals have the right to choose with whom they want to freely engage in any sexual activity or none at all.

Sexual Assault Statistics for Concerts

Sexual assault is an alarming and all too common problem at concerts and festivals. These sobering statistics underscore the need for better prevention measures and education when it comes to sexual assault at music festivals:

  • According to the music industry initiative Safe Space Now, 40 percent of women under the age of 40 have experienced sexual harassment at a music festival.
  • A Teen Vogue report on sexual assault at Coachella interviewed 54 women, all of whom reported being groped or harassed.
  • A survey conducted by YouGov revealed that 22 percent of festival-goers in the UK had experienced some form of sexual assault at a live music event in the past year.
  • A study by Durham University found that 34 percent of women reported experiencing sexual harassment at a music festival in the last year.

How Can Music Venues Prevent Sexual Violence?

Music venues and concert managers have a responsibility to create safe spaces for their guests. There are many steps that venues can take to reduce the risk of sexual assault at concerts and festivals, including:

  • Educating staff about sexual assault and harassment: All staff members should be trained in how to recognize and respond to incidents of sexual assault and harassment. Training should focus on identifying potential perpetrators, along with the appropriate responses to situations where sexual violence is suspected.
  • Developing a comprehensive sexual harassment and assault policy: Venues should create clear policies outlining what constitutes sexual harassment or assault and how staff members should respond to such incidents.
  • Offering resources for survivors: Music venues should offer resources for survivors, such as providing contact information for counselors or sexual assault help hotlines and making sure that attendees know whom to approach if they experience any form of sexual violence.
  • Increasing security: While all events have some degree of security personnel, some may not have enough. Additionally, staff should be trained to respond quickly and appropriately to any incidents of sexual violence.
  • Encouraging bystander intervention: Concert-goers should be encouraged to look out for each other and intervene when they see signs of potential sexual violence.

By taking the appropriate steps to ensure safety, music venues can create safe spaces for everyone in attendance. Concert promoters and venues should raise awareness of the potential risks associated with attending live events and document what necessary precautions they are taking to ensure the safety of their guests.

Concert and Festival Sexual Assault Lawyer: FAQs

1. If I ingested drugs or alcohol willingly, can I still file a sexual assault lawsuit?

Drugs or alcohol may impede your capacity to consent to sexual activity. If you were sexually assaulted while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, it is possible that the abuser may have likely used this to coerce you while you were in a vulnerable state.

2. If the person who assaulted me never faced criminal charges, can I still bring a lawsuit?

Yes. Your ability to file a civil lawsuit is not affected by whether or not the perpetrator faced criminal charges. While a criminal charge against the abuser can strengthen your case, it is not a requirement for filing a civil sexual assault lawsuit.

3. Who is liable for sexual assault at a concert?

Multiple parties may be liable for sexual assault at a festival or concert, including your attacker, the venue owner and/or the event organizer. The event management committee or venue operator has a duty of care to keep you safe and free from harm and may be held responsible for neglecting to perform their duty of care.

4. What is the statute of limitations on festival sexual abuse?

The statute of limitations for sexual assault at a music festival will depend on the state in which the assault took place, the type of crime committed, and whether or not you are filing a criminal or civil complaint. In New York, for example, survivors of adult sexual assault have 10 years to file a civil lawsuit for third-degree rape and 20 years to file a lawsuit for second-degree rape.

5. Is it sexual assault if I consented as a minor?

Yes. As a minor, you do not have the legal capacity to consent to sexual activity. The law recognizes that minors cannot developmentally consent to certain things, like sexual activity. While laws may vary from state to state, the general age of consent is 16-18.

6. Is it sexual assault if both parties were intoxicated?

It is important to remember that intoxication of any kind, including alcohol, drugs, or even an overdose of prescription pills, does not excuse or make sexual assault acceptable. Even if both parties were intoxicated, any sexual contact without consent is considered sexual assault.

7. Is sexual assault common at concerts?

Reports of sexual assaults at concerts have been increasing at an alarming rate. Unfortunately, many survivors of sexual assault at concerts do not report it due to a lack of clarity about what constitutes assault or consent, or otherwise due to psychological issues in the aftermath of the trauma.

Despite the lack of reliable data, it is clear that sexual assault is a major issue at concerts and festivals. If you are a survivor, you may want to speak to a music festival sexual assault lawyer for help in understanding your legal options.

8. Why do women underreport sexual assault at festivals?

While people of any gender may get assaulted at festivals, there are many factors why women may not report sexual assault at festivals. These include fear of judgment and stigma, fear of retaliation or not being believed, and lack of trust in the justice system. Some women might feel embarrassed or ashamed due to the subconscious rape culture mindset they encounter from their peers or the wider public. Others might have a fear of repercussions from reporting the crime. As a result, many women, particularly those from marginalized communities, are uncomfortable stepping forward.

It is important to remember that sexual assault can happen to anybody who finds themselves in any situation where the perpetrator has access and opportunity to commit the act. An experienced sexual abuse attorney can help you understand what happened and how you can prepare for a lawsuit against the abuser and any third-party organization that may have enabled the crime.

Take Back Your Voice: Talk to a Compassionate Sexual Assault Lawyer

Edwards Henderson is a leading law firm that specializes in sexual assault litigation. Our team of dedicated attorneys has extensive experience in handling cases involving sexual assault and securing compensation on behalf of survivors. We understand the sensitive nature of these cases and are here to provide legal advice and representation to the survivors of sexual assault.

If you or a loved one is a survivor of sexual assault at a music concert or festival, contact us today to learn more about how we can help you through a free legal case review.

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