Coachella Attendee Gets Sexually Harassed 22 Times — In Just 10 Hours

Coachella PD.
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Coachella PD.
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Coachella ‘Security’ (photo: Malcolm Murdoch CC 2.0)

Coachella is a pervy grab-fest that sucks for women — so what’s being done about it?

So this story is darkly ironic.  Teen Vogue sent out a reporter to examine a growing problem involving sexual assault and groping at Coachella.  In the process of investigating at the festival, the reporter was groped 22 different times.

The trip was sponsored by SAFE, an app that lets you display up-to-date STD status to would-be partners.

The reporter, Vera Papisova, ended up interviewing 54 woman at the mega-festival.  In total, every single one reported being groped.  “I interviewed 54 women at Coachella, and they all said they had been sexually harassed,” Papisova relayed.

But according to Papisova, this went way beyond inappropriate booty-grabbing.  Instead, this 20-something, attractive woman was flat-out stalked for various periods.  Here’s one of those stories:

“One guy followed me across the field to the Mojave stage, where I was meeting a friend to see FIDLAR. When my friend left to see another band, I stayed behind, and this guy came up behind me and whispered, “You’re a goddess” and then rubbed his hands on my hips and butt. I knew it was the guy who followed me over earlier because I recognized his Pablo merch.”

Even worse, the staggering grope-count happened within a 10-hour period.  Which is just a fraction of the time most people spend enjoying Coachella.

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Here’s what happened when Papisova tried to get a front-row snapshot of David Byrne.

“On Saturday, I was front row at the Outdoor Theatre, leaning against the metal grate to take an epic photo of David Byrne to send to my dad. Someone behind me grabbed my butt with both hands. I didn’t see who it was, and I felt so uncomfortable that I gave up my front row spot and moved to the back of the crowd where I would have more space behind me. I never got the picture.”

Papisova said this kind of thing was completely common.  So common that 100% of the people she interviewed reported some sort of harassment issue.  “Of the 54 young women who spoke to Teen Vogue for this piece during the weekend-long event, all of them had a story of sexual assault or harassment that occurred this year at Coachella,” she wrote.

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“Many of these accounts reveal patterns of predatory behavior harassers exhibited throughout the festival, and many of the reports I collected sound nearly exactly the same.”

Policing this stuff seems extremely challenging, to say the least.

Most of the grabbing and groping happens in densely-crowded areas, and short-term stalking is hard to enforce against.   Coachella would have to create a police state to eradicate the behavior.

In some cases, fights can break out: women can hit back, identify a groper, or boyfriends can get pissed.  But most of the time that’s not happening.

So why go to Coachella at all?  It sounds like women are mostly willing to tolerate the bad behavior, rather than call off the entire show.  Especially since not attending seems like the only surefire way to avoid getting harassed.


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9 Responses

  1. happy

    honestly I am sick of this!
    So many men completely obsessed with sex and objectifying women its ridiculous!
    Of course I like women too, but surely know how to not be a creep.
    Lots of my friends are so obsessed with sex it is very sad. Whenever I see sexually inappropriate behaviour, objectifying , too much sex talk and sick comments, it is a red flag and you will probably lose 90% of respect from me.
    My best friend is a blonde attractive woman and the stuff she gets into her inbox is ridiculous !!!! A worker came to build her kitchen, then few days later she gets messages from said worker… sexually suggestive messages and advances (and he is even married) – SICK OF THIS.
    Women are sexy this doesn’t mean y’all need to be out of control horny creeps!
    Ridiculous !

    • Jim

      Look at how the lineup has changed over the years.

      It used to be for bearded white men, who, for all their faults, being white, and men, they typically were not going to Top 40 fests to grope the women.

      This is what Coachella is now, Top 40 headliners, music that is played in the club, not music that music fans like. That’s an overstatement, but there is most certainly a core of truth there.

      Nobody actually likes Top 40. Maybe really basic women. And men who like really basic women. I don’t know what kind of groping that takes place in the club in 2018, but normal behavior in the club and normal behavior at an indie rock venue are not the same. I’m one who knows what appropriate behavior is at indie rock venue in my part of the country. Much is impermissible. Scowls of disapproval of almost anything are practiced and implemented. Indie rock shows are moving closely to a library/museum atmosphere. Not a lot of groping.

      And since a while ago, indie rock fans used to go to Coachella, some must still go to Coachella. And the indie rock fans that still go to Coachella don’t mix with the basic women who like Top 40 and the basic men who don’t really like Top 40, but they’ll go to where the women are, to grope them. I’m pretty old now, I see a lot of indie rock still. Haven’t been to a dance club in a long long time, but back in the day, the reason you went to the dance club was to try to get laid. It wasn’t – at all – because you liked the music, or dancing, but the basic women like both of those things, so they went there and the men did go there to grope them,

      Hipsters do not listen to that Top 40 headliner crap. That’s music for women who don’t mind at all about being groped, and it’s music that signals to men that there will be women who don’t mind being groped.

      Coachella used to be about polite hipsters watching indie rock. And there were no problems. You expose a hipster female to Top 40 club behavior, you have potential problems. Even in small rural areas, the lower middle class and the poor an the middle class and up have segregated themselves. Those Top 40 headliners draw the lower middle class, where groping just isn’t considered a big problem. Coachella traditionally has appealed to hipsters, who are cousins to the PC/SJWs. Hipsters don’t share culture with lower middle class Top 40 fans.

      It was a mistake for Coachella to turn itself into a Top 40 fest.

  2. MAria


    “Teen Vogue sent out a reporter to examine a growing problem…”

    Let me guess: she was half naked?! 🙂

    “In the process of investigating at the festival, the reporter was groped 22 different times.”

    Only because some guys had flirted with her?!

    • Yup

      So does that mean I can walk around groping anyone I want at the beach? Cool.

  3. Jeanne Marie

    “So why go to Coachella at all? It sounds like women are mostly willing to tolerate the bad behavior, rather than call off the entire show. Especially since not attending seems like the only surefire way to avoid getting harassed.”
    Actually, banning the GROPERS from the show, rather than requiring women to give up attending, seems to me the fairer solution.

    • Jim

      The way Coachella is now, the only men that would go would be to grope women.

      This is Top 40 / club music. This isn’t ultra-polite indie rock.

  4. PiratesWinLOL

    mebbe just stop the government program that involves importing more rapefugees.

  5. so depressing

    these commnets – sheesh
    ‘it’s the fetival’s fault for changing the profile of the lineup’
    ‘it’s the music’s fault for being accessible’
    ‘it’s the girl’s fault for what she was wearing’

    how about it’s the fucking cunt’s faulty who can’t keep his hands to himself?

  6. asdf

    Jump into a cesspool, you will step in some shit. Coachella sucks, and most festivals are shit shows for animals. Just see the bands you like when they play headlining sets at smaller club venues.