Skip to main content

The ethos of electronic music festivals is one of openness and acceptance. When attendees pass through the front gates, they (hopefully) check their egos at the door and join co-revelers of all walks of life. This attitude fosters an environment where people can express themselves in ways that might be unacceptable or scandalous elsewhere.

Although what results can certainly feel like a kind of utopia, the unfortunate truth is that there are more than a few people who take advantage of the community’s openness. When over 75% of people can say they have been harassed or assaulted at music festivals, it’s time to take a step back and reevaluate.

Here are 8 tips to help curb the less-than-savory behavior that haunts music festivals and events everywhere.

1. An outfit is not an invitation

retro womens dress illustrations

This is a big one and should honestly be fundamental in life. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Someone else’s outfit is not an invitation. It is not an invitation to gawk, to harass, and it is especially not an invitation to touch. Assume an outfit is meant for no one’s benefit save for that of the wearer. Appreciation can be nice and compliments might be welcome, but there’s a clear difference between appreciation and creepiness.

2. Don’t touch people to get past them

do not touch sign

One of the most common complaints we hear at music festivals is when people put their hands on others to slide by them in a crowd. The typical offenders go for the waist or lower back in a painfully transparent and downright slimy excuse to touch people. Those who have a modicum of respect and who have actually been to a festival or two know that it’s entirely unnecessary to touch someone to get past them. Those who insist it is necessary are either lying to themselves or should be considered predators. Full stop.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

Kendoll and Chuck Shadow

KENDOLL Teams Up With Chuck Shadow For Electrifying House Single "Down Low"

After a short break, Kendoll is at it again with her first release of 2022.


ILLENIUM, PNAU, Lady Gaga Top Dance/Electronic Categories At Billboard Music Awards

It was another year of stiff competition among the dance music industry's heavyweight contributors and emerging talents.

Above & Beyond

Above & Beyond Usher In New Era Of Ambient Music With "Reflections" Imprint

The debut offering from Above & Beyond's third label imprint has arrived.

3. Quit staring

staring cat with yellow eyes

Yes, music festivals are full of beautiful people. Yes, some outfits could be considered scandalous by everyday standards. No, that does not imply it’s ok to stare at people who want to show a little skin or dance a bit provocatively. To quote a fellow raver, “I always love to dance however I’m feeling and sometimes it’s sensual. When someone is staring, it’s hard to keep going.”

4. Verbal assault is still assault

yelling monkey

There is a blatant misconception that assault must include physical contact to count. This misconception is shameful at best and intentional at worst. The truth is that verbal abuse can be just as disgusting - and if anything, it’s more pervasive than physical assault. Simply put, unsolicited comments, whether intended to be positive (like catcalls) or negative (like derogatory comments), are never okay. Innocent and friendly comments may be welcome, but it’s painfully transparent when they bleed into the creepy and overtly sexual.

5. Someone dancing doesn’t need to be danced with


Just like an outfit isn’t an invitation, nor is dancing. Someone who is enjoying themselves lost in the music, does not need to be danced with. Trying to do so is simply predatorial and gross, and if a person’s friends or even strangers feel the need to run interference, then it’s a great idea to step off and maybe leave the festival entirely. People who can’t take a hint need not be welcome at public events.

Brian Baker is a writer, photographer, and designer based out of St. Louis. You can find his portfolio here.


Baker-Electric Forest 2019-For EDMdotcom-

The 5 Perfect Events for a Music Festival Virgin

If you're scared to dive headfirst into the world of electronic music festivals, here are five events that can help you ease in.

Baker-Electric Forest 2019-For EDMdotcom-3-35

15 Music Festival Party Fouls

A short list of things that festival attendees should never do.

Baker-SAMF2019-For EDMdotcom-7866

10 Things that Every Music Festival Should Have

Because fans deserve more from their festivals

enamel pin collection

6 Subcultures of Electronic Music Festivals

Explore some hobbies and lifestyles born out of the modern electronic music festival.

crying baby in a hood

10 Reasons Not to Bring Babies to Music Festivals

We honestly shouldn’t have to say any of this, but here we are.

Baker-Electric Forest 2019-For EDMdotcom-2-32

5 Glaring Misconceptions About EDM and Festival Culture [Opinion]

Here's the truth behind five huge misconceptions about electronic music, its festivals, and its culture.

Baker-Electric Forest 2019-For EDMdotcom-12198

EDM for Normies: How to Convert Your Friends to Electronic Music

Presenting genres and artists to win over the EDM uncertain.