Women will keep attending gigs because women love music, and, to quote a friend who recently emerged from a moshpit unmolested but sporting two black eyes: “music is forever!” Certain types of music have worse reputations that others; punk and grunge gigs are usually linked to higher levels of sexual intimidation while gigs with an older, chilled-out audience (who knew Sludge was a genre?) generally lead to a relaxed atmosphere. But it shouldn’t be a case of dressing defensively for certain bands or favouring Patti Smith and Nick Cage gigs over Rancid because there’s less chance of being groped.
Listening to Asking For It, the song Courtney Love penned after that awful stage dive, is a chilling reminder of the anger and the powerlessness many women feel when watching their favourite bands. Making sure women are safe at gigs should be a basic priority for everyone attending, and if that isn’t working we should revisit the idea of Hanna’s girls to the front policy.