By James Dunlevie.
The organisers of the Falls Festival say they are disgusted and angry over reported assaults at the Tasmanian event and “boys and men need to have some respect”.
The condemnation follows Tasmania police saying many young people thought being sexually assaulted by others “is what happens in the mosh pit”.
Five women have now reported that they were sexually assaulted at the Tasmanian Falls Music and Arts Festival held at Marion Bay over the New Year’s weekend.
All five victims were aged in their teens and 20s, police have said.
In a statement on their Facebook page, Falls Festival management said they were “disgusted and angry that some people feel they can inappropriately touch others without their consent”.
“The safety and wellbeing of our festival’s patrons is of upmost importance to us. We cannot comment on this as it is now a police matter, we are deeply saddened and disturbed by these allegations,” the statement read.
“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.
“Like everyone else we 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.”
Falls management said they “work closely” with emergency services and security contractors “to provide the best and safest possible experience for our patrons”.
“We 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.”
Falls management urged anyone with information about the assaults to contact police.