Two in five young female festival goers have been subjected to unwanted sexual behaviour

Sarah Prescott-SmithSenior Research Executive
June 21, 2018, 11:48 AM GMT+0

New YouGov research, conducted on behalf of the Press Association, has revealed the scale of unwanted sexual behaviour that occurs at music festivals in the UK.

The study found that one in five (22%) of all festival goers, and 30% of female festival attendees have experienced some form of unwanted sexual behaviour at a UK festival.

Figures rise dramatically for women under the age of 40

The figures show that women under the age of 40 are significantly more likely to have experienced sexual assault or harassment at festivals. Over four in ten (43%) women under 40 have experienced unwanted sexual behaviour at a UK festival.

The survey indicates they type of behaviour that festival goers have been experienced. Three in ten (29%) women under the age of 40 recalled forceful dancing, and almost a quarter (23%) have been subject to sexualised language or verbal harassment.

Added to this, 17% of women under 40 have experienced sexual assault whilst conscious at a festival, while 6% have been assaulted while unconscious.

There was also a substantial number of women under 40 who were subject to flashing, with over one in ten (11%) stating that they had experienced this.

How did people choose to respond?

Whilst close to half (49%) of those who faced unwanted sexual behaviour told a friend or family member, over a third 35% didn’t tell anyone at all. Furthermore, despite the severity of the unwanted sexual behaviour, only 7% of those affected reported it to festival staff during or after the event, and only 2% said they reported the incident to the police.

There is also a notable difference between how men and women chose to respond. Men who had been subject to sexual assault or harassment were far more likely to tell festival staff, with a total of 19% telling staff either during or after the event, compared to only 1% of women.

See full results

Image Getty