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Conceptualising safety and crime at UK music festivals.

Bows, Hannah and King, Hannah and Measham, Fiona (2020) 'Conceptualising safety and crime at UK music festivals.', in Gendered violence at international festivals. London: Routledge, pp. 86-104.


There has been a global surge in music festivals over the last decade, especially in Europe. In the UK, it is estimated that more than 3.5 million people attended the 230 music festivals in 2015 (Time Out, 2015; UK Festival Awards, 2016). Despite a body of research indicating higher levels of crime, particularly acquisitive and violent crime in spaces with similar characteristics (e.g. nightclubs, pubs and gigs), there have been no previous studies examining the occurrence or nature of crime at music festivals. This chapter brings together conceptual developments across the social sciences to shed light on the underexplored subject of gender and safety at music festivals, a leisure location of growing interest to social scientists and of significant growth within the events industry. This chapter presents data from the first UK study to explore safety and crime at music festivals and raises questions regarding the distinctive features of commercialised music festivals, the extent to which they can be considered transgressive or countercultural spaces and what might be the distinctions, if any, of gendered sexual violence within such spaces.

Item Type:Book chapter
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
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Publisher statement:This is an Accepted Manuscript of a book chapter published by Routledge in Gendered violence at international festival on 24 March 2020 available online:
Date accepted:No date available
Date deposited:15 May 2020
Date of first online publication:24 March 2020
Date first made open access:24 September 2021

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