When the Beastie Boys' Ad-Rock took the podium at last week's MTV Video Music Awards and called on promoters to insure the safety of female concertgoers in the wake of Woodstock '99, his words apparently did not fall on deaf ears.As we reported last week, Ad-Rock used his group's win for Best Hip-Hop Video as a platform on which to call on fellow musicians to "talk to the promoters and make sure that they're doing something about the safety of all the girls and the women that come to our shows" (see "Lauryn Hill, Fatboy Slim, Ricky Martin, Korn Lead VMA Pack"). Spurred to comment by reports of numerous sexual assaults alleged to have happened at the summer festival, the rapper added, "I think we can talk and work with the security people to make sure they know and understand about sexual harassment and rape and they know how to handle these
situations." [RealVideo]Woodstock '99 organizers seem to agree and issued a statement late on Friday that read, "We congratulate the Beastie Boys and all of the artists who have recognized that the allegations of sexual assault on the site of Woodstock '99 are very serious and deserve attention from both the public and the entertainment industry. Concert promoters, security companies, artists and so many others who work daily to put on concerts must work together to foster an environment of safety and security for all concertgoers." The statement, however, went on to describe the issues not as being Woodstock-centric, but rather as a much larger problem. "The reality is that sexual assaults have become such an overwhelming problem in our society that they are now a very frightening reality at concerts and other social gatherings," the statement reads. The Woodstock camp went on to pledge its help, saying, "We stand ready to work with any other producers,
artists and other industry leaders to ensure that it is universally understood that violence is not acceptable and will not be tolerated at our concerts or anywhere else."In the weeks following the fiery conclusion of this summer's Woodstock '99, a number of women came forward alleging various forms of sexual assault at the concert, including one woman who claimed to have been raped in the mosh pit during Limp Bizkit's performance (see "Woodstock Organizers, Police Address Rape Cases").
-- Robert Mancini