Falls Festival organisers have issued a statement regarding the multiple sexual assaults which were reported at the Tasmanian leg of the festival in Marion Bay this year.
At least three young women filed reports of sexual assault with Tasmania Police over the first two days of this year’s event, and extra security was then brought in for moshpit areas of the Marion Bay event.
The ABC also reports that two other women have reported sexual assaults at the Marion Bay event, and that Police are investigating a report of a rape in the camping grounds. All five victims were aged in their teens and 20s, police say.
In a statement, Falls Festival organisers say they are “disgusted and angry that some people feel they can inappropriately touch others without their consent”.
“We would like to see the conversation turn from telling our women and girls to be on guard and vigilant, to telling our boys and men to have some respect and stop taking these liberties.
“The safety and wellbeing of our Festival’s patrons is of utmost importance to us. We cannot comment on this as it is now a police matter, we are deeply saddened and disturbed by these allegations. Everybody has the right to move through life — not just at a music festival, but everywhere — free to feel safe and confident to enjoy their surroundings.”
Organisers say they’re working closely with authorities, security services and other community services, are “are doing everything in our power to assist the Tasmanian Police and hope these perpetrators are caught”.
“Our thoughts are with the alleged victims and their families at this time,” organisers say.
Anyone with information regarding the alleged incidents in Marion Bay is urged to contact Bellerive CIB on 03 6173 2899 or email email@example.com.
This year’s Falls Festival was also marred by a stampede incident at the Victorian leg of the event, which left almost 100 people injured. Falls organisers are now facing a possible lawsuit over the accident.
Falls Festival 2016/2017 wraps up in Fremantle this weekend.
If you need assistance, 1800 RESPECT – the National Sexual Assault, Domestic and Family Violence Counselling Service — can be reached on 1800 737 732, while Lifeline can be reached on 13 11 14.
Gallery: Falls Festival 2016 – Lorne / Photos: Nikki Williams