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Festival Fails | Yes to Music Love, No to Rape Culture

Festival Fails | Yes to Music Love, No to Rape Culture

With summertime half over and a slew of festivals still to come – Best Kept MTL has been reminiscing on a simpler time. A time before the festival fuckboys and douchebags.

When going to a festival was about the experience. To wear your best summer attire, go out with your friends and see some of the hottest and most eclectic music that comes to town over the course of a year. To have some drinks under the stars surrounded by like-minded folks out to enjoy the sounds of summer.

Though the festival season is very exciting for most of us, the increasing number of obnoxiously aggressive and ignorant people – mostly younger men – is staggering. The festival climate has become more and more flooded with a younger generation of fuckboys, on-trend hipsters sporting culturally offensive outfits and accessories and people toting their ignorant personalities.

Festival Fails

Don’t be like these fuckboys^

This isn’t to say all men are fuckboys, and that all fuckboys are the aggressors.

But that also does not mean that the fuckboy mentality is not running high and ruining the experience for plenty of festival goers. A friend of mine had this to say, and this is from someone who travels the festival and concert scene all over North America.

Just don’t be lame during a set and kill girls’ vibes by trying to hit on them. Nothing is worse than having to get through a set you wanna see while having some fuckboy hit on you. When you’re deep in a crowd there is no escape and you have to deal with their bullshit the whole time depending on how aggressive they get.

At a Jay-Z show, this one guy kept hitting on me, and wouldn’t stop touching me to ‘Brush the dirt off my shoulder’

Here we are in 2017 – mere weeks away from the biggest music festival in Canada, considered one of the best in North America entirely – and the anticipation is high.

With his anticipation comes disdain from some people as well. Recently, the news broke of festival organizers in Europe creating events that are for women only, due to multiple sexual assaults. These festivals have stated that they will only allow entry to those who identify not as male, until the men, in general, learn to behave themselves.

Naturally, this has outraged thousands of people, leading us to ask the question – how did we get here?

A dear friend of mine had had this to say while telling me about her time at this years’ International Jazz Festival, and her experience was one of hostility and discomfort.

Festival Fails

Our friend got stranded in front of the stage, and when we tried to go back into the crowd to get her the crowd got legit hostile. We had to get the police, and they literally did nothing to help. She needed us, and when we asked the crowd to let us through, we literally got pushed violently. 

The men. It was all men. They were so rude. One legit shoved me and when I said I needed to get through he gave me a nasty look and said: “What the fuck do you want me to do for you?”

I’m enraged. Like…the way the police and organizers handled things was awful. Also, a girl behind me collapsed and all the security did was toss over a bottle of water while we were screaming at them to come help her. We weren’t in the middle of the crowd, we were up front. They could have done something more to help her, but nobody cared or tried.

This is the statement made by a festival attendee just last week in our city. Now, it’s sobering when this type of story strikes a familiar chord. During last years’ Osheaga Festival many news outlets reported the story from Melanie Doucet, who had been roofied at the festival and had no help from those around her.

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“I went from being completely coherent and super happy enjoying the Chili Peppers, to having my speech slurred and feeling like I was going to pass out,”

Doucet, who bought a three-day pass to the event, said she had been to Osheaga four times before this year. She was particularly excited to participate in this year’s event, with the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Radiohead among the headliners. See video above to hear from Doucet.

I could barely hold myself up. I started getting blurry vision. I couldn’t speak at all, she recalled. I was crying, trying to hold myself up by grabbing on to people. People dismissed me and pushed me away. They looked at me with disgust and assumed I was this drunk girl, but I was clearly in distress.

I spoke to someone who is supposed to be a manager, and the response I got was, ‘we’re really busy; we try to catch things, but can’t see everything. Maybe you should have paid closer attention to your drink,’ Doucet said. I was shocked they would say something like that.

Though many are outraged by the news of Women’s only events, you can’t ignore the reasoning behind them, and these reasons, in particular, are coming from our own backyard – Montreal.

As we reach the pinnacle of Montreal’s Festival season, I implore all the men out there to be mindful to those around them. To respect the women in their surroundings…. and for each and every festival goer to be thoughtful if and when approached by someone of any gender in distress.

Cheers to the festival season. Don’t be a douche like these guys.

Festival Fails


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  • hey, I would just like to address something that isn’t yet addressed in this article. it was mentioned in this article that young men are the main perpetrators, as someone who was up front during the anderson .paak & the free nationals performance i’d just like to say there were a few aggressive women also in the crowd, notably a group of tallish drunk girls shoving and punching people. people in general should be cool to each other at the performances. it really brought the vibe down for that part of the set. aside from that, good times.

    • Hey Bill!
      Thank you for your comment. You are 100% right. While this article puts a light on the stories I’ve heard from women, its not to say all men are the problem all the time. In the youtube video shown, it is a fact that 25% of sexual assualt in Mtl happens at public events.

      Drunk, obnoxious assholes, male or female, are just lame. Sorry you had to deal with that bill.

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