During the three-day 808 Festival in Bangkok, a slew of comments and online posts shared experiences claiming sexual assault by the security team of the event.
Comments referred to private parts being touched for drug check purposes, due to a strict no-drug policy.
This then raised a concerning question; drug check or borderline sexual assault?
The experience was first shared via Twitter on Friday, December 9, by Twitter user @HetoldmeXOXO. She expressed her displeasure on how security officers bodychecked under her T-shirt and bra.
The security, they check under my T-shirt and even under my bra…— He told me | Pro Drunk (@HetoldmeXOXO) December 9, 2022
This is too much 😢😢😢 pic.twitter.com/hDWkm7tBZM
The Japanese attendee also posted videos recording the people who were queueing before her; collected from various statements and video angles, it shows that security conducted inappropriate acts including grabbing crotches and reaching beneath top undergarments.
This is a movie a woman right before me body checked by security. pic.twitter.com/Huu23zKOjx— He told me | Pro Drunk (@HetoldmeXOXO) December 11, 2022
According to the majority of the posts, the security teams were separated and assigned based on the traditionally addressed male and female genders.
Though not many male festival goers had complaints, Twitter user @pbstorms provided insight otherwise, stating how one person they knew was “molested”.
Edit: I misunderstood. It was one white girl, one Asian girl, one Asian boy. Apparently they went even harder on the man.— BKK PB (@pbstorms) December 12, 2022
After sharing what happened on Instagram stories with 808 Festival’s official account tagged to gather attention, Twitter user @HetoldmeXOXO received a personal apology from the festival’s organisers. They stated “but they are govt. officers” who were looking for drugs and that 808 Festival had no control over their conduct.
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Organisers went on to mention that “There is a sign written at the entry area that mentions this”.
After the official said “apology” and they “address it” on Saturday, actually security check became worth like this yesterday😭— He told me | Pro Drunk (@HetoldmeXOXO) December 12, 2022
And no one was informed about this strict sexual body check before the festival. pic.twitter.com/UemA6Cs1HV
Irritated by this disturbing incident, many online profiles showed disappointment and anger towards the shocking event, with others also demanding a proper explanation from the organisers of the 808 Festival.
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The awkward and commonly agreed to be “unacceptable” search has other people coming forward to share their experiences. Conveying her discomfort, @njandemm said on Instagram that she has a similar contact with security and was “not comfortable with that.”
Katherine Doãn is an intern at Mixmag Asia. Follow her on LinkedIn.