Crime & Justice

Sexual harassment at Coachella: Is it everywhere?

Festivalgoers attend the 2018 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Field on April 21, 2018 in Indio, California.
Festivalgoers attend the 2018 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Field on April 21, 2018 in Indio, California.
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Coachella

A story in Teen Vogue is sparking conversation about female safety at Coachella. The author says that of the 54 women she interviewed, every one of them "had a story of sexual assault or harassment that occurred this year at Coachella." 

Festivalgoers attend the 2018 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Field on April 21, 2018 in Indio, California.
Festivalgoers attend the 2018 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Field on April 21, 2018 in Indio, California.
Rich Fury/Getty Images for Coachella

Vera Papisova, who attended the first weekend of the 2018 Coachella festival, writes:

"This year's Coachella experience was also full of moments I never saw on Instagram: being repeatedly violated by strangers. In the three days I was at Coachella, I only spent a total of 10 hours at the actual festival... During the 10 hours I was reporting on this story, I was groped 22 times."

She says one man followed her across the field then rubbed his hands on her hips and butt. Another time, while standing in the front row and trying to take a picture of David Byrne, someone behind her grabbed her butt with both hands. While waiting in line for food, she says a man rubbed his hands on her bare stomach.

David Byrne performs during the 2018 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Field on April 21, 2018 in Indio, California.
David Byrne performs during the 2018 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Field on April 21, 2018 in Indio, California.
Rich Fury/Getty Images for Coachella

KPCC reached out to representatives at Goldenvoice, Coachella's promoter, for comment on the Teen Vogue story but have not yet received a response.

During this second weekend of Coachella, Indio Police Sgt. Dan Marshall says there has been at least one arrest for a sexual crime.

"A person was touched inappropriately over the clothing and we affected an arrest. So we take that very seriously, and we don't want anybody to come out here and feel that they're not safe but worse than that, we don't want anybody to come out here and feel that if something does happen to them that they can't come to the police. That is most certainly not the case," Marshall told KPCC.

Festivalgoers attend the 2018 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Field on April 21, 2018 in Indio, California.
Festivalgoers attend the 2018 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Field on April 21, 2018 in Indio, California.
Rich Fury/Getty Images for Coachella