WARNING: This article includes accounts of sexual harassment and may be distressing for some readers. Resources for support are listed at the end of this article
Organisers of a music festival in Osaka, Japan, are filing a criminal complaint after South Korean artist and model DJ Soda was allegedly sexually assaulted during a performance.
DJ Soda took to social media last week (August 14) to raise complaints about an incident that took place during her performance at Osaka Music Circus Festival, writing: “I was so shocked and scared that my hands are still shaking”.
“In order to communicate more closely with the fans, I always get closer to the fans at the end of the gig,” she said. “At that moment, not only one but also several people suddenly touched my chest and I was helplessly sexually harassed by them.”
“I was so surprised and scared, but there were fans who liked me and also cried a lot, so I tried my best to finish it imperturbabley. Now I’m back at the hotel however I’m still very scared, and I’ve never ever experienced anything like this in my 10 years as a DJ.”
DJ Soda went on to say that she felt “embarrassed and humiliated”, and added screenshots of a video where fans can be seen touching her inappropriately.
Festival organisers, TryHard Japan, have now filed a complaint to the police against three individuals who allegedly sexually assaulted the South Korean artist during her performance.
“I am very disappointed that such an incident happened on the 10th anniversary of us holding Music Circus,” said TryHard Japan founder and CEO Rakuyo Otsuki (via Japan Times).
“Our top priority in running the event is protecting the safety of both the artists and audience members. In this incident, a crime is a crime and if we don’t take appropriate measures, similar things may keep happening at other events.”
The incident has also raised a wider conversation around the prevalence of groping in the country, said to be most common on Japan’s packed rush-hour trains. In 2022, 2,233 cases of groping were reported by the National Police Agency (NPA).
TryHard Japan has vouched that they will take legal action against anyone slandering DJ Soda online too, if necessary. “Slander against DJ Soda is unacceptable and we will make it clear here that she shouldn’t be blamed for her nationality or the way she dresses,” said TryHard Japan COO Yoichi Hiraoka.
AFEM sponsor a confidential support service for anyone affected by sexual harassment within the Electronic Music Industry
Health Assured provide the service to ensure confidential expert counselling for anyone who has been affected and needs guidance and support. Call 0800 030 5182, (Outside the UK: +44 800 030 5182) where trained experts will listen and support
Gemma Ross is Mixmag’s Assistant Editor, follow her on Twitter
Written by: Tim Hopkins