Published Aug 02, 2016An Osheaga attendee who says security brushed off concerns that her drink was spiked at this weekend's event is now publicly asking the Montreal music festival to better train its employees to prevent sexual assault.
In an open letter posted onto Facebook yesterday (August 1), Montreal resident Melanie Doucet explained that she thought she was "slipped the date rape drug" sometime during Red Hot Chili Peppers' performance at Osheaga on Friday (July 29). She says that she had lost her friends in the crowd at Parc Jean-Drapeau and had been talking to a group of men when she began to feel the effects.
"I was afraid that who did it would follow me home and pretend they're my friend. That's what usually happens," she said of the incident in an interview with CBC.
Doucet added that she was not helped by anyone in the crowd and did not see any medical staff or security on her way out. She was able to make it to her boyfriend's home nearby.
Explaining that she had gone from "being super happy and having a great time to not being able to control my own body or speak properly," Doucet ended up returning to the fest grounds the next day and to speak with Osheaga security about the incident. Doucet says she was "brushed off" and told that she should have paid more attention to her drink.
"This is coming from a woman in a supposedly security management position at a internationally renowned festival," Doucet posted on Facebook. "I told her I had my drink IN MY HAND when this happened and that I understood it's hard to catch everything but I only wanted her to notify security to be on the lookout for girls in distress. She replied sorry this happened to you but I have to go. I was completely appalled by the lack of concern and lack of empathy coming from another woman in a power position."
Another post from Doucet made today (August 2) is now asking Osheaga to offer their volunteers and staff sexual violence training programs.
"Other small adjustments could also include sexual violence awareness on their website by advising festival attendees to seek help immediately if they see someone in distress, and only selling drinks on site that are completely covered."
Doucet said she has reached out to Osheaga but has not heard back. In an email to the CBC, a spokesperson for Evenko, which organizes Osheaga, said that the company takes necessary measures to ensure on-site safety for attendees.
"We are sorry to hear what happened to this lady," Philip Vanden Brande wrote. "We will proceed with an investigation in order to find out what transpired."