The Festival of Faster Horses, a three-day country music gathering held each summer in Brooklyn, Michigan, has been a hotbed of sexual assault, according to a surprising new survey from MLive, Michigan’s news site.
The 7,300-word story paints a disturbing picture of a culture of predatory behavior, overt misogyny and heavy drinking at the music and camping festival, where spectators held ‘theme camps’ with children. names like “Titty City” and the “Camel Toe Bar.” Since the first Faster Horses in 2013, 30 cases of criminal sexual misconduct have been reported. All the victims were women.
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According to an analysis of FBI crime statistics between 2014 and 2019, there were 0.5 reported sexual offenses per 40,000 people every four days in the state of Michigan. At Faster Horses, sex offenses were about 5.5 times more common per capita. A security guard interviewed for the story compared the festival to a “paradise for sexual predators”.
In addition to the reported sex crimes, 91 assaults have required a police presence throughout the history of the festival. MLive’s investigation found that Faster Horses averaged 11 reported assaults per festival. Compared to a similar four-day electronic music festival in Michigan, Faster Horses has double the number of assaults and 50% more reports of criminal sexual conduct.
Representatives of the festival venue, Michigan International Speedway, and its promoter, Live Nation, did not immediately respond to Rolling stonerequests for comments. Live Nation was also the promoter behind Astromonde in Houston, where 10 people died following an influx of crowds during a performance of Travis Scott.
This year’s Faster Horses was also marred by the death of four fans. Three young men died of carbon monoxide poisoning in their trailer, while a 30-year-old woman died after apparently drinking three-fifths and a half of Fireball cinnamon whiskey, according to the Live story.
Faster Horses, held July 16-18 at Michigan International Speedway, was one of the first major country music festivals to return since the pandemic. According to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, it was related to at least 101 cases of Covid-19.
This summer’s lineup included stars like Jason Aldean, Jon Pardi and Carly Pearce. Past headliners have included Miranda Lambert, Zac Brown Band and Toby Keith. The Faster Horses Festival 2022 is scheduled to return July 15-17.
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