UPDATE 06/01/16: Falls Festival has responded to reports of multiple sexual assaults at the Tasmanian leg of this year’s event.
ORIGINAL STORY: Multiple reports of sexual assault against young women have been filed at the Tasmanian leg of Falls Festival in Marion Bay over the first two days of the event.
In a statement, Tasmania Police say two of the incidents occurred in moshpits (one during Hot Dub Time Machine’s set on Thursday night and one during Illy’s set on Friday afternoon), while the other was in the festival campgrounds, also on Thursday night.
The victims are receiving counselling support and assistance, while detectives are investigating the incidents.
Extra security has been brought in for moshpit areas of the Marion Bay event, which also features a temporary police station, and police have urged festival-goers to be “extra conscious” of their personal safety.
“The best thing you can do is to stay with your friends at all times and look out for each other,” says Inspector Doug Rossiter.
“If you become isolated and feel unsafe at any time, go straight to the nearest police officer, security guard and talk to them.”
Reports of sexual assaults at the Tasmanian leg of Falls Festival come after over 60 people were injured in a crowd crush at the Victorian leg of the festival. Punters caught up in the stampede have described the incident as “shocking” and like “a war zone”.
Falls Festival Marion Bay wraps up later today. Read Tasmania Police’s full statement, below.
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.
Tasmania Police Statement (Via Facebook)
Police are urging patrons at this year’s Falls Festival at Marion Bay to be extra conscious of their personal safety and to look after each other, following three reports of sexual assaults on young women over the first 2 days of the event.
Two of the incidents occurred in the moshpit area and the other in the campgrounds.
Between 10:45pm and 11:45pm on Thursday night, a young girl was assaulted in the front right section of the moshpit during the performance of DJ Hot Tub Time Machine.
Just after 2:00pm on Friday afternoon, another young girl was similarly assaulted in the moshpit area while Illy was performing.
A third incident was reported in the campgrounds on Thursday night between 9:30m and 11:30pm.
Detectives from Bellerive CIB are investigating the incidents and the victims are receiving counselling support and assistance.
There is a strong police presence at the Falls Festival including a temporary police station which is adjacent to VIP camping area on the hill behind the main arena. Extra security measures have been put in place for the moshpit area as a result of these incidents.
In response to the incidents, Inspector Doug Rossiter of South East Division had this message for young people at the event: “The best thing you can do is to stay with your friends at all times and look out for each other. If you become isolated and feel unsafe at any time, go straight to the nearest police officer, security guard and talk to them”.
Police would like to hear from any person who may have witnessed any of the incidents or have any information that might assist the investigation.
Police are particularly keen to hear from a female witness who intervened in the assault on Thursday night in the moshpit during the performance of DJ Hot Tub Time Machine.
If any person has any information they are encouraged to contact Tasmania Police on 131 444, or visit the police station at the Falls Festival site this evening.