Report reveals historical past of sexual assault, rape, and violence at Michigan’s Quicker Horses nation music competition


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  • Mike Ferdinande
  • Quicker Horses nation music competition attracts greater than 40,000 folks yearly.

Music festivals — and competition tradition — are below a microscope.

Earlier this 12 months, HBO launched Woodstock 99: Peace, Love, and Rage, a documentary recounting the horrors of the pre-millennium revival of the as soon as flower-powered music competition, which included arson, violence, a number of accounts of sexual assault, and gang rape.




Most lately, rapper Travis Scott’s annual Astroworld competition made headlines. The competition claimed 10 lives, together with a 9-year outdated, throughout its first night time after pleas to cease Scott’s efficiency had been largely ignored regardless of many followers being trampled and crushed by a provoked and mismanaged crowd of greater than 50,000 folks.


Now, a Michigan-based competition is having its soiled laundry aired out.


A disturbing new investigation revealed by MLive has illuminated a historical past of rampant sexual assault, rape, and violence at Michigan’s annual three-day nation music competition, Quicker Horses.


The LiveNation-produced fest, which was first held in 2013, takes place in Brooklyn, Michigan, at Michigan Worldwide Speedway. In recent times, it has drawn greater than 40,000 nation music followers, lots of whom choose to camp on-site in tents and trailers.


Although the center of the competition is its star-packed musical lineups which have in years previous included performers Miranda Lambert, Jason Aldean, Tim McGraw, Keith City, Carrie Underwood, and Luke Combs, Quicker Horses is, as it’s touted on its web site, the #PartyOfTheSummer. At the least, for some. For others, it is a nightmare.


Since 2013, there have been 30 reported instances of prison sexual conduct on the competition, police have responded to 91 assaults, and, throughout this 12 months’s occasion, 4 folks died: three males died by carbon monoxide poisoning and a lady died on account of “issues of weight problems” with marijuana and alcohol abuse additionally enjoying an element.


In accordance with MLive, which analyzed 130 police studies, 30 sexual conduct instances had been thought-about “unfounded” and at the least 18 sexual assault instances concerned alcohol. The entire reported assault and/or rape victims are feminine.


To check, “Quicker Horses has 50% extra studies of prison sexual conduct and greater than twice the variety of assaults” than that of Michigan’s annual large-scale four-day digital music competition, Electrical Forest. MLive additionally discovered that alcohol was the plain widespread denominator all through the greater than, 2,000 pages of violent crimes and deaths at Quicker Horses.


All through Quicker Horses sordid historical past, solely two males have had formal authorized motion taken in opposition to them, one in all whom was implicated for urinating in public and consuming below age, the opposite had repeatedly entered the ladies’s showers, exposing himself, and in a single case, tried assault. That man, who was 22 on the time, had initially gotten an 18-month sentence and a handful of neighborhood service hours. He ended up spending 93 days in jail as a result of he violated his first sentence. The person then pleaded responsible to the indecent publicity prices, however not the assault with intent to commit sexual penetration cost, which had been dismissed by the prosecutor’s workplace.

The report particulars horrific firsthand accounts spanning the competition’s historical past, together with ladies waking up with blood working down their legs, or are discovered unconscious and unclothed in fields or tents not belonging to them with no recollection of how they received there. Others discovered themselves intoxicated and got here to throughout an tried or accomplished rape. One girl contacted police after eradicating a condom from her vagina with no reminiscence of why or the way it ended up there. One other was discovered partially undressed with a busted lip on the ground of the ladies’s rest room and was frightened of anybody touching her. In 2014, a lady recounted to police that she had been raped by three males after being knocked to the bottom within the car parking zone. She was in a lot misery following the assault, that she was crying and vomiting in the course of the police interview.


A former Quicker Horses safety guard described the competition as “a sexual predator’s paradise.”


These instances are sometimes tough to prosecute, particularly when extreme consuming is an element and neither celebration can present detailed accounts of what occurred — which is not to say it did not occur, simply because somebody cannot keep in mind. Oftentimes attackers can lie and say consent was given regardless that the sufferer was not in a coherent sufficient state to provide consent nor deny it.


One of many many contributing elements is the competition’s tradition, which revolves round objectifying ladies, intoxication, and nation music’s status for perpetuating gender roles and that guys will likely be guys.

“What number of haven’t been reported, can be my higher query about these items that’s occurring at Quicker Horses,” Lenawee County Prosecuting Lawyer R. Burke Castleberry advised MLive. “What number of haven’t been reported?”

In accordance with Rape, Abuse, & Incest Nationwide Community (RAINN), out of 1,000 sexual assaults, solely 310 are reported to police (which suggests greater than 2 out of three rapes go unreported), and of these reported instances, on common solely about 28 leads to a felony conviction.


This is able to imply that there may very well be greater than 67 unreported sexual assaults at Quicker Horses.


In case you are a sufferer of sexual assault or need extra data on sexual assault, you’ll be able to contact the Rape, Abuse & Incest Nationwide Community at 1-800-656-4673; rainn.org.

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