Music festivals are typically safe, respectful places where people come together and share their love of music. However, this wasn’t the case for many, especially women, who had attended Solis Festival in Islamabad, Pakistan last weekend. Things turned “chaotic” and “downright nightmarish” after holders of fake festival tickets stormed the gates, unleashing chaos into the festival space.
From mismanagement to over populated event from breaking VIP lounges to destruction of stage, one can easily navigate that we are intolerant society as a whole that needs schooling badly I REPEAT BADLY #Solis #solisfestival #Islamabad pic.twitter.com/MxAqNiBhlM— SUMAIRA RAJPUT (@sumaira_rajput) February 16, 2020
As thousands of fake-ticket holders stormed onto the VIP stage, the structure collapsed due to the unexpected weight. Many had consequently sustained injuries, but things continued to spiral out of control. Videos circulating around social media show individuals destroying property, but that’s not even the worst yet. Women have come forward, recounting the horrific ordeals such as “touching” and “groping” among other forms of sexual harassment that they experienced at Solis as chaos ensued.
Solis Festival’s Response
Festival organisers have since then released a statement apologising for how things have unfolded throughout the evening. Understandably, both local and international communities are infuriated. As awareness continues to build, more are pushing organisers to work with the police to identify and charge those responsible.
View this post on Instagram
For the 4th edition of Solis Festival, we were really excited to bring the festival back to home grounds- Islamabad. We had to make the difficult decision to stop the event due to hundreds of individuals who fought their way through with fake tickets. This spoiled the night for everyone else that purchased authorized tickets. As always, security and safety is at the utmost priority for our festival attendees, vendors, sponsors and artists. We want all our fans to feel safe and happy at every show, and because of the actions of these individuals we weren’t able to do so. We will be issuing a further statement at a later time, but for now want to thank our fans who purchased real tickets and came to genuinely enjoy the event.
This marks the fourth edition of Solis Festival, which is the first and largest international music festival in Pakistan. Acts set to perform this year had included Dannic, Mike Williams, Julian Jordan, FDVM, and Turhan James.