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I was assaulted three separate times during the Osheaga music festival.
The first time was during the Black Lips set, which had a pretty rambunctious crowd. I was right at the front,dancing, against the gate when someone behind me fully squeezed my ass. As I immediately turned around and yelled “Fuck off” I was met with three young men who all had their hands in the air gesturing that they were not the person who touched me. Because it was pretty chaotic and loud (I could hardly hear myself yell when I did, and my friends were unaware of this entire confrontation) I know by their reactions that they at least witnessed what happened to me because they didn’t seemed confused-they seemed to already know why I was so angry. I’ll never know who did it. I was talking to some of the people behind me before the show started and for some reason it makes me feel more violated to think that a chatty, friendly stranger could assault me publicly.
The second and third times I was assaulted were when I was crowd-surfing.
Because of the nature of crowd surfing- having strangers hold you up by your body- I will be clear about the type of contact I had with these people.
First, someone, again, groped my ass. I have no idea who it was, I was being passed forward. This hand did not support my body weight at all, just a quick, aggressive grab and then it was gone. It seemed pretty obvious that it was not by mistake, or by necessity (to hold me up), but because it was my ass, and there was nothing I could do about them touching it while I crowd surfed.
The third time was really perplexing to me. I had stopped being passed along in the crowd in a way that my legs were being held far apart. I felt someone’s fist rap against my pubic bone at least three times and when I sat up the guy who did it and his friends were laughing. I sat there in shock for a moment and then was then moved away in the crowd.
After each of these assaults I felt extremely powerless, and frustrated that there was little for me, or anyone really, to do to prevent this type of shit from happening to them. I especially regretted not being able to address the people who assaulted me, and not being able to understand why they did it. In all of these situations it seemed more like they did it as a show of power, just “because they could” rather than sexual satisfaction.
I chose to upload this photo of the crowd during the Black Lips because it was at the same time as I was assaulted. I’m not fully visible in it because of the angle (I’m the one in the blue and yellow top), but my friends are and they look like they’re having the time of their lives- which is what I expect to be doing when I go to a music festival. Even though I felt frustrated and powerless after I was assaulted I pushed the incident out of my head and this set was my favorite of the entire festival.
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